Minnesotans in Congress - and some of the politicians running to replace them - took a cautious approach on Friday to the government's rescue plan for Wall Street.

If there is any consensus, it's that there may be no alternative to the plan, which could cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

Some highlights of their comments:

Sen. Norm Coleman (R): "I won't support measures that simply put the taxpayer on the hook without some expectation of better days ahead, or measures that don't guarantee that taxpayers are being protected against future losses from Wall Street corporations."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D): "We've been through this decade of greed on Wall Street with little fear. Now we've come to this crisis. I think the answer is that we don't want to have too much fear, we want to move forward with this economy. ... I believe in vigorous entrepreneurship, but they've lost the balance here."

Senate candidate Al Franken (D): "I have to think that probably they have to do this. It really depends on how they do it. We don't want to reward the people who make bad decisions. But we want to be able to have small businesses be able to borrow money. We want people to know they're going to get their money in the money markets."

Senate candidate Dean Barkley (I): "I don't like the idea that we're going to go another trillion dollars in debt. We're now going to be at 11 trillion rather than 10. I don't know how in the world we're ever going to pay it back, but I think that doing nothing probably would've been worse."

First District Rep. Tim Walz (D): "The plan has yet to be finalized, but I believe that the actions Congress will take in the next several days will provide the stability necessary to restore confidence in our economy."

Second District Rep. John Kline (R): "The American economy is facing grave challenges that threaten disastrous consequences for American workers, their jobs, their bank accounts and their retirement security."

Second District candidate Steve Sarvi (D): "While we can't regulate our financial institutions to death, it's clear the pendulum has swung too far the other direction."

Third District Rep. Jim Ramstad (R): "Decisive, bipartisan action is needed to avert an economic disaster, but Congress must make sure taxpayers are protected."

Third District candidate Erik Paulsen (R): "The financial crisis we're seeing this week is another example of how Congress is broken. We need a regulatory system to match the times we face; one that will work to prevent another collapse or any taxpayer bailouts. We should not be bailing out Wall Street at the expense of Main Street."

Third District candidate Ashwin Madia (D): "I think it's the best option we have right now. I support it provided we, first of all, take steps to make sure this never happens again, and second, increase regulation and transparency in our markets."

Third District candidate David Dillon (I): "I believe [the bailout] was a good decision on the part of the Federal Reserve ... because it's the lesser of two evils."

Fourth District Rep. Betty McCollum (D): "I don't want to bail out anybody, but we are facing a systemic economic collapse that puts every American family in financial danger."

Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison (D): "It's not an easy sell, but it is true that AIG and all of this bad, illiquid paper out there is causing the markets to not lend, and if they don't lend, people cannot invest and build, and if we can't do that unemployment is going to rise. This is not just bailing out Wall Street."

Sixth District Rep. Michele Bachmann (R): "I understand the financial crisis we are facing and I fully comprehend the consequences of inaction. But, if history has taught us anything it's that any time Congress or federal regulators react too quickly they gloss over details."

Sixth District candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg: "We couldn't allow these systems to collapse. The only way to maintain some stability in the financial markets is for there to be a backup plan, a guarantee. And the only entity with the size necessary to do that is the federal government."

Mitch Anderson • 202-408-2723