WASHINGTON - (AP) - Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd says the United States may be "days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system" and Congress is working quickly to prevent that.

Dodd said Friday that Democrats and Republicans on the Hill arecoming together to support the Bush administration's developingplan to buy up bad debt from financial institutions and get thecredit system working again. Dodd told ABC's "Good MorningAmerica" that the nation's credit is seizing up and people can'tget loans.

The ranking Republican on the Banking Committee, Senator RichardShelby, predicts the new bailout plan will cost at least half atrillion dollars.

Shelby says the nation has "been lurching from one crisis toanother." Both veteran lawmakers say this is the most seriousfinancial crisis they've seen in their years in Congress.