Republican Sen. Norm Coleman is calling for more regulation of the financial system as part of what he says needs to be a "comprehensive solution" to the nation's financial crisis. In a written statement sent to reporters Friday afternoon, Coleman said this is not the time for partisan politics and finger pointing but instead a time for action.
In the statement Coleman said taxpayers must be put first, protected against future losses and be repaid once confidence returns in capital and credit markets.
Coleman was unavailable for comment in time for this story.
"Obviously his concern is one, that we do what we need to do to shore-up the financial markets but also ensure that taxpayers are protected," said Luke Friedrich, the Coleman campaign spokesman.
Democrat Al Franken's campaign message of the day Monday revolved around Congressional oversight. Franken repeated his charge that Coleman dropped the ball on scrutinizing Iraq war spending when Coleman chaired the Senate's permanent subcommittee on investigations.
On the issue of the bank bailout, Franken said any plan must not reward the business people who are responsible for the bad investments. Franken was also adamant that Congress should not simply hand the money over to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
"I mean the way Paulson has written this, there's absolutely no oversight of what he's doing," Franken said. "This is exactly what I'm talking about today. The role of Congress is to provide oversight for the taxpayer."
Franken also repeated his call for a moratorium on home foreclosures. Franken said struggling homeowners, not just Wall Street, should get help.
"I think that part of this has to be that we stop this bleeding in the housing market, and that we set up the kinds of mechanisms to prevent more foreclosures," he said. "I would like to see a moratorium on that, but we have to allow bankruptcy judges to reset mortgages on primary residences."
Independence Party Senate candidate Dean Barkley said it's not just a Wall Street problem. Barkely said members of Congress -- Republicans and Democrats-- should be fired for failing in their oversight role.
"I'm just praying for our country that everything just does not collapse because I think we're close and it scares me," he said. "And it's a sad commentary on the state of our government right now of what they've allowed, that they even allowed this to happen."
Barkley said he thinks saddling future generations with hundreds of billions of dollars of bailout debt is a terrible idea, but he said Congress has no choice.
"The choice you're got is that if you don't do something like this, is that Wall Street's going to collapse and the stock market's going to collapse," he said. "And so, as an elected official do you try to do something to try to dig ourselves out of this huge hole that we're in or do nothing and let it burn? And I guess I would have to hold my nose and at least try to do something to get us out of this terrible situation our country is facing right now."
Barkley said he worries the investment-banking industry package might end up being the first of several Congressional bailouts. The auto industry wants $25 billion in low interest federal loans. Barkely said he thinks the airline industry might be next.