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The Obama administration also has begun to portray the financial sector in more upbeat terms, eager to make the case that government interventions begun under then-President Bush and continued, altered or expanded under Obama have brought stability to the markets.
Obama plans to deliver a speech Monday -- the anniversary of Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy -- to outline the administration's achievements and press Congress to enact changes in bank regulations.
But the AP-GfK poll illustrates the difficulty he faces.
More Americans worry about facing big, unexpected medical expenses now than they did in July -- up 7 percentage points to 68 percent among those polled. Likewise, more worry that the value of their stocks and retirement investments will drop -- up 4 percentage points from July to 68 percent.
In October, then-President Bush pushed a $700 billion financial rescue package through Congress on the condition that only half could be spent without further congressional authority. Obama, upon becoming president in January, succeeded in getting the second amount released, despite growing apprehension among lawmakers about the wisdom of such a bailout.
Obama has repeatedly said that the rescue of the financial sector would be incomplete without a new regulatory regime that would prevent a recurrence of the crisis. Obama has sent the outlines of possible regulation to Congress. Key banking lawmakers in the House and Senate have promised Obama legislation by the end of the year, but there is vigorous debate over key elements of Obama's plan, including a new consumer finance protection agency and the designation of the Federal Reserve as the main overseer of large institutions that could pose risks to the system.
The survey of 1,001 adults with cell and landline telephones was conducted from Sept. 3-8. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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