WASHINGTON -- Regulatory overhaul legislation working its way through Congress will end taxpayer-funded bailouts "once and for all," President Barack Obama said Saturday.
Obama used his weekly radio address to build on the administration's argument that lawmakers need to quickly pass the most wide-ranging changes to financial market oversight since the Great Depression.
"That's how we'll help to put an end to the cycles of boom and bust that we've seen," Obama said. "And that's how ... we'll not only revive the economy, but help to rebuild it stronger than ever before."
U.S. senators on Monday are scheduled to take a test vote on financial overhaul legislation that is still being negotiated between top Democrats and Republicans. Members and staff were expected to work throughout the weekend to try and broker a deal, though talks could continue past Monday's procedural vote.
Obama also defended his administration's response to problems in the auto industry, including providing additional funds to U.S. auto manufacturers. He acknowledged that their were significant risks involved in what the administration did, but said the alternative of either General Motors or Chrysler failing would have dealt a "crippling blow" to the already troubled economy.
"I knew this wasn't a popular decision. But it was the right one," Obama said.
He also expressed optimism that taxpayers could see a positive return on their investment in the auto companies, noting that the government has already been repaid with interest on some of the aid it extended to the firms.
"It won't be too long before the stock the Treasury is holding in GM can be sold, helping to reimburse the American people for their investment," Obama said.
Obama reiterated that the U.S. government would dispose of its investments in the nation's banks and auto firms as soon as possible, adding that "I'm glad to see that we're getting out."