Dodd: We Were Maybe 'Days Away From a Complete Meltdown'

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) sounded a grave tone about the state of the economy Friday, hours after government officials announced a rescue plan for banks that could cost up to $500 billion.

"I've been here 28 years, to listen to the language of last evening, we maybe were days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system," Dodd said on ABC News.

Dodd along with other congressional leaders met with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Thursday night. Though Paulson and Bernanke have yet to explain the details of their rescue package to Dodd, the Democrat said that members from both parties will work together during the crisis.

"We understand the gravity of the moment," Dodd said during a Friday news conference. "This is an extremely serious time for our country and for the world. Last evening's meeting was about as sobering a meeting as any of us have ever attended in our careers here. And so we understand, despite the fact that we're some 45 days away from a national election, that we're not gathering as Democrats or Republicans representing blue or red states, but as representatives of the people across this country prepared to do whatever we can to work with the administration to get us through this difficult time to not only deal with the affects of this collapse economically to our country, but the causes as well."

Paulson is scheduled to appear before Dodd's Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. Dodd said that his committee will serve as the lead committee for any legislation related to the rescue plan, though he added that it will work with the parties' leadership in both chambers and with the House Financial Services Committee.