Gov. Janet Napolitano said Monday that the idea of taxpayers bailing out the financial community is not pretty, but the alternative is worse.
The governor noted the discomfort many lawmakers are having with the proposal to provide $700billion for ailing financial institutions. All members of Arizona's own congressional delegation opposed the package when the U.S. House defeated it.
"But the question has to be asked, what is the alternative - and what does the alternative mean for the working man and woman on the street?" the governor said. Doing nothing, she added, is not an option.
"Yeah, the bailout is really messy," Napolitano said. "But to paraphrase Winston Churchill on democracy, it's really messy till you see what the alternative is."
The governor acknowledged the concerns by some members of Congress that the federal legislation could be seen by some as simply bailing out corporations and executives from bad judgment calls.
"This is one of those cases where there's potentially a lot of blame," she said. "That's why I think it was important for the bill to include limitations on compensation, for example, for CEOs, so they don't profit from their own bad decisions."
Napolitano said she is not in a position to tell Congress what the final bill should look like.
"But it has to be a bipartisan package," she said. "We have to be sure that we do what we can to get the credit markets to stability - some sort of stability, at least for the short term."
Napolitano said members of Congress "cannot leave Washington, D.C., and go home and campaign without doing something."