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Reuters Politics Summary

/ Source: Reuters

Obama, McCain battle over financial crisis

Barack Obama proposed reforms on Monday to rein in practices that led to the worst U.S. financial crisis since the Depression, while White House rival John McCain touted his own remedies and accused Obama of failing to provide leadership. McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, pushed a plan he offered last week calling for an independent panel to oversee a Wall Street bailout that could cost as much as $1 trillion. He said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had too much power in the crisis.

Congress haggles over Treasury bailout plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration and Congress haggled over the details of a $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan on Monday as U.S. stocks tumbled on worries that even a massive government effort to mop up bad debt may not be enough to revive the economy. Congressional Democrats want to add assistance for homeowners, curb executive pay at companies who participate in the plan, have the government take equity stakes in those companies and increase oversight of the asset buybacks.

Poll: Americans rate Obama over McCain on economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More Americans think Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama would do a better job handling an economic crisis than his Republican opponent John McCain, according to a CNN public opinion poll released on Monday. Forty-nine percent of those questioned said Obama, and Illinois senator, would display good judgment in an economic crisis, six points higher than McCain, an Arizona senator.

McCain leads Obama 51-41 in rural contests: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential nominee John McCain leads Democratic rival Barack Obama by 10 percentage points, 51 percent to 41 percent, among rural voters in 13 pivotal states, a poll released on Monday shows. Rural voters, who tend to be social and fiscal conservatives, strongly preferred McCain over Obama on taxes and the war in Iraq. The two men are tied statistically on the economy, which respondents said was their No. 1 issue.

Key Senate Republican says opposes Treasury plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee on Monday called for the quick consideration of alternatives to the U.S. Treasury Department's plan to buy up distressed assets, saying he worried the proposal was "neither workable nor comprehensive." "I am concerned that Treasury's proposal is neither workable nor comprehensive," Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said in a statement. "In my judgment, it would be foolish to waste massive sums of taxpayer funds testing an idea that has been hastily crafted, and may actually cause the government to revert to an inadequate strategy of ad hoc bailouts.

Sen. Clinton: Gov't should help buy back home loans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York Senator Hillary Clinton said the federal government should establish a special entity that would buy mortgages from Americans and later sell them just as it did during the Great Depression. Congress set up the Home Owners' Loan Corp in 1933 to help stave off home foreclosures amid the economic downturn that followed Wall Street's crash in 1929.

White House says opposes House credit card bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday it opposes legislation called "the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights" that would curb unfair and deceptive credit card practices, saying it would constrain banks' ability to price risk. The White House said in a statement the bill would lead to less access to credit and higher interest rates for consumers.

Clinton summit hopes for generosity amid turmoil

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States may be suffering its worst financial crisis since the Depression, but former President Bill Clinton hopes companies arrive in a generous mood for his fourth annual philanthropic summit. Experts warn the economic woes will likely hurt charitable efforts by individuals and corporations but say it could lead to more creative humanitarian work and greater leadership by foundations that have benefited from years of asset growth.

Sen Reid says no "rubber stamp" for bailout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Monday that congressional Democrats accept the need to move quickly on legislation to stabilize the markets and tackle the housing crisis, but a $700-billion Bush administration bailout plan is just "a starting point." "The Bush Administration has called on Congress to rubber stamp its bailout legislation without serious debate or efforts to improve it. That will not happen," said the Nevada Democrat in a statement.

Senate to vote on extending energy tax credits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate will vote on Tuesday on legislation to extend tax breaks for using renewable energy sources and taking steps to save energy. The energy tax breaks will be part of a bigger bill that continues other tax credits for businesses and also includes a one-year fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax so millions of Americans won't be subject to higher income taxes.