Speaking in multiple interviews over the weekend, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson continued to push for his plan to provide an unlimited line of credit to government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to prevent the institutions from going under.

Fannie and Freddie are "very important to our markets," Paulson said. "I'm very optimistic that we're going to get what we need from Congress."

He also pointed out that both institutions were both well capitalized and that the banking system is sound.



The Treasury Secretary also said the economy would continue to suffer several months of slower growth, which will only end once the housing market finds a bottom.

"We're going through a challenging time with our economy. This is a tough time. The three big issues we're facing right now are, first, the housing correction which is at the heart of the slowdown; secondly, turmoil of the capital markets; and thirdly, the high oil prices, which are going to prolong the slowdown," he said.

By Erik Kevin Franco and edited by Nancy Girgis