The US Senate banking committee is considering additional hearings before the November elections to examine the roots of the financial crisis and oversight of the $700bn rescue plan, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Although some lawmakers are back in their home states running for re-election, and Congress is essentially closed for business, the Democratic leadership feels it necessary to take a closer look at the factors that contributed to the economic crisis.

In both the presidential election and congressional races, Republicans and Democrats have been sparring over the causes of the financial collapse. Democrats are arguing that the lax regulation of Wall Street promoted by the Bush administration and supported by congressional Republicans is to blame, while many Republicans believe that Democrats allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government mortgage groups, to balloon in size, sowing the seeds of the downturn.

The first of the new round of hearings on the roots of the crisis could come as early as next week.

Spokespeople for Chris Dodd, the committee chairman, and Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the committee, declined to comment.

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