Florida Sen. Mel Martinez says he's coming back to DC "very supportive" of the bill to bail out Wall Street. Interviewed on CNBC today, Martinez said he was in Florida Tuesday "and got an earful about the House vote.
"And so I'm going back, very much supportive of the package," he said. "I think it is time that the Congress acted. Obviously, a lot of frustration out there, but I think understanding that it is important that we do this."
Martinez said he heard from constituents who were baffled by the calls against the bailout. House members who shot down the bail out plan reported 1,000's of phone calls and e-mails -- almost all of them opposed to the measure.
"What I was hearing from a lot of people was the fact that, 'Gee, who is making these phone calls? I guess I haven't made the phone call. I need to call now because I didn't understand that it made a difference,' " he said. "To many members of the House, who are up for reelection -- all of them are up for reelection this year -- a ton of phone calls going in one direction, none going in the other, can make a difference."
But he suggested public opinion is turning: "I think you're seeing a reaction by people who are very concerned about the economy, who believe that Congress needs to act, coming around and saying, 'Well, I'd better get on the phone and make my views known.' "
Martinez said he thinks a proposal for an oversight board "gives people confidence. And the fact that the Congress has heard from the American people that they want this thing carefully watched and that it's not going to enrich people with golden parachutes."