WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush on Saturday urged the US Congress held by his Democratic foes to back free trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia and clear the way for more oil drilling. In his weekly radio address, Bush noted that lawmakers were returning from their August break briefly before heading to campaign ahead of the November 4 elections and warned this was their "final chance" to pass key legislation. "Before they leave Washington, they should show that they can work together on bipartisan measures to help strengthen America's economy," he said, citing the free trade pacts, tax cuts, and the high price of gasoline. Bush and his Republicans have worked for months to blame Democrats for the painful prices at the pump, and recent polls show deep support for one of the president's key responses: drilling for oil in the United States. "By increasing supply through the use of our domestic resources, we can begin reducing the pressure on prices," he said, noting he had lifted an executive ban on drilling on the US Outer Continental Shelf and pushed lawmakers to end their legislative restrictions. "The leaders of the Democratic Congress refused to allow it to come to a vote," he said. "Congress should remove this restriction immediately." "This is their final chance to take action before the November elections. If members of Congress do not support the American people at the gas pump, then they should not expect the American people to support them at the ballot box." Bush also called for tax credits for renewable energy sources and end to a ban on seeking oil shale on federal lands in addition to drilling " which experts say would not affect gasoline prices for years, perhaps a decade. Meanwhile, the US government is planning to put under strict federal control troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fire their top executives and use federal funds to bail them out, US media reported on their websites. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-chartered, shareholder-owned firms that provide liquidity to the housing market, have been whipsawed by the financial meltdown in the past year, losing some 90 percent of their value on fears of losses from mortgage defaults. A law enacted in July gives the US government the authority to buy shares or offer liquidity to the companies to keep them afloat, averting what some fear could be a major shock to an already fragile global financial system. The Washington Post said the plan calls for placing the firms in a legal state known as conservatorship. That means the value of the company's common stock would be diminished but not liquidated while the holdings of other securities, including company debt and preferred shares, would be protected by the government, the report said. The government also plans to make quarterly infusions as the companies' losses warrant, The Post said citing unnamed sources. The New York Times, for its part, reported that senior officials from the administration of President George W. Bush and the Federal Reserve on Friday called in top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and informed them of the plan. The Times said it was not possible to calculate the cost of any government bailout, but the huge potential liabilities of the companies could cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.