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U.S. Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky says he’s opposed to the government safety net proposed for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Republican lawmaker says the federal government shouldn’t have to come to the rescue of shareholder-owned companies every time they get into trouble.

Bunning says its a dangerous precedent that could compromise the free market system.

“What happens if we have another failure, what happens if Lehman Brothers goes down, what happens if Citycorp goes down?” Bunning said Tuesday. “Is the federal government going to get involved in bailing out those entities?”

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has asked Congress to approve a plan that would provide a financial lifeline to the mortgage investors.

Bunning says he won’t vote for the package.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."