SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - Republican John McCain Monday called for greater oversight of the Bush administration's proposed bailout of U.S. financial markets, saying the massive $700 billion plan being crafted by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson needed broader supervision.
"Never before in the history of our nation has so much power and money been concentrated in the hands of one person. This arrangement makes me deeply uncomfortable," McCain told an Irish-American group in this battleground state. "We will not solve a problem caused by poor oversight with a plan that has no oversight."
McCain praised Paulson and said he had spoken to him several times over the weekend. But the GOP presidential hopeful nonetheless called for a bipartisan oversight board to supervise the proposed bailout, to be helmed by Warren Buffet or another broadly respected business leader.
McCain also called on Congress to move quickly and work with the Administration to restore stability to the troubled financial sector. But he said the goal of any action must be to allow homeowners to stay in their homes and prevent Wall Street executives from profiting from a taxpayer bailout.
Earlier, McCain, who just a week ago said the economy was fundamentally sound, said he believed the U.S. financial system is facing a major crisis.
Speaking Monday on NBC's "Today" show McCain said, "We are in the most serious crisis since World War II."
He also said that despite the ballooning national debt he would not raise taxes if elected president.
McCain said "history shows us that if you raise people's taxes in tough economic times that makes problems worse."