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Updated: Lawmakers: Financial bailout agreement reached

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer
    1 minute ago



    WASHINGTON - President Bush is bringing presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain into negotiations on a $700 billion rescue of Wall Street as Democrats and Republicans near agreement on a bailout plan with more protections for taxpayers and new help for distressed homeowners.

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    Senior lawmakers and Bush administration officials have cleared away key obstacles to a deal on the unprecedented rescue, agreeing to include widely supported limits on pay packages for executives whose companies benefit.

    They're still wrangling over major elements, including how to phase in the eye-popping cost — a measure demanded by Democrats and some Republicans who want stronger congressional control over the bailout — without spooking markets. A plan to let the government take an ownership stake in troubled companies as part of the rescue, rather than just buying bad debt, also was under intense negotiation.

    A bipartisan meeting was set for Thursday to begin drafting a compromise, which top Democrats said they hoped could pass within days.

    The core of the plan envisions the government buying up sour assets of shaky financial firms in a bid to keep them from going under and to stave off a potentially severe recession.

    Even as political figures haggled over the shape and price of the bailout, new economic indicators showed that orders for big-ticket manufactured goods plunged in August by the largest amount in seven months and that new applications for unemployment benefits were at their highest level in seven years.

    On Wall Street, stocks initially rose Thursday rose on optimism about the deal but a credit market squeeze remained as doubts about the proposed plan's effectiveness drove demand for short-term, safe-haven assets.

    Bush acknowledged in a prime-time television address Wednesday night that the bailout would be a "tough vote" for lawmakers.

    But he said failing to approve it would risk dire consequences for the economy and most Americans.

    "Without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold," Bush said as he worked to resurrect the unpopular bailout package. "Our entire economy is in danger."

    Bush's warning came soon after he invited Obama and McCain, one of whom will inherit the economic mess in four months, as well as key congressional leaders to a White House meeting Thursday to work on a compromise.

    With the administration's original proposal considered dead in Congress, House leaders said they were making progress toward revised legislation that could be approved.

    Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who has led negotiations with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on the package, said that given the progress of the talks, the White House meeting was a distraction.

    "We're going to have to interrupt a negotiating session tomorrow between the Democrats and Republicans on a bill where I think we are getting pretty close, and troop down to the White House for their photo op," said Frank, the House Financial Services Committee chairman. "I wish they'd checked with us."

    Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have been crisscrossing Capitol Hill in recent days, shuttling between public hearings on the proposal and private meetings with lawmakers, to sell the proposal.

    Obama and McCain are calling for a bipartisan effort to deal with the crisis, little more than five weeks before national elections in which the economy has emerged as the dominant theme.

    "The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail," they said in a joint statement Wednesday night. "This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe."

    Presidential politics intruded, nonetheless, when McCain said earlier Wednesday he intended to return to Washington and was asking Obama to agree to delay their first debate, scheduled for Friday, to deal with the meltdown.

    Obama said the debate should go ahead.

    Lawmakers in both parties have objected strenuously to the rescue plan over the past two days, Republicans complaining about federal intervention in private business and Democrats pressing to tack on more conditions and help for beleaguered homeowners.

    Former President Clinton said Thursday that one thing lawmakers must avoid is any bill that effectively rewards bad judgments and dangerous risk-taking among financiers.

    "You have to be careful not to have unjust enrichment," he said on CBS's "The Early Show."

    But many in both parties said they were open to legislation, although on different terms than the White House has proposed.

    Some partisan sticking points remain.

    Democrats are pushing to allow bankruptcy judges to rewrite mortgages to ease the burden on consumers who are facing foreclosure — a nonstarter for Republicans.

    Democrats acknowledge privately that the provision will almost certainly be dropped in the interest of a bipartisan deal. Obama told reporters it's "probably something that we shouldn't try to do in this piece of legislation."

    Democrats also want any potential proceeds the government reaps from the bailout to go to a fund designed to pay for housing for poor families. Many Republicans oppose the very existence of the fund, which they say is a backdoor means of funneling money to liberal political groups.

    Democratic demands that Congress be given greater authority over the bailout and that the government be required to help homeowners renegotiate their mortgages so they have lower monthly payments already have been accepted in principle.

    Under the bailout bill, which will let the government buy huge amounts of toxic mortgage-related assets, "we're now the biggest mortgage holder in town, and we can do serious foreclosure avoidance," Frank said.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080925/ap_on_bi_ge/financial_meltdown
  2. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    Wow. McCain works fast.
  3. canters

    canters Active Member

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    McCain is good. Superman fast.
  4. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Deal close in Washington does not translate into fast. Being close could mean a few more days before all is hammered out
  5. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    McCain, Obama call for bipartisan work on bailout

    By DEEPTI HAJELA, Associated Press Writer
    54 minutes ago



    NEW YORK - John McCain expressed confidence Thursday that Congress and the Bush administration can reach consensus before markets open Monday on a $700 billion bailout plan to rescue financial institutions from crippling debt.

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    His Democratic rival, Barack Obama, also called for prompt bipartisan action.

    McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, told the Clinton Global Initiative in New York that it's often difficult to act quickly and wisely. But he said that is what's required now to come up with a plan that can achieve bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

    "Time is short and doing nothing is not an option," McCain said. He headed to Washington after his speech.

    Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, speaking to the same audience by satellite later in the morning, agreed that it was imperative to act now in a bipartisan manner.

    "Now is the time to come together, Democrats and Republicans, in the spirit of cooperation on behalf of the American people," Obama said.

    But Obama made clear that his schedule this week included the first presidential debate. He said he would be in Mississippi on Friday for the debate with McCain after joining legislators in Washington on Thursday. McCain has called for postponing the debate, set to be on foreign policy issues, if no deal has been reached on the bailout by then.

    Both presidential candidates received high praise from former President Bill Clinton.

    Clinton praised McCain on the environment: "When most people in his party had been thinking that global warming was overstated ... he decided to look into it."

    In lauding Obama, Clinton referred to a conversation the two men had earlier this month at Clinton's Harlem office.

    "Eighty percent of the conversation had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the responsibilities of the next president for the welfare of the American people and the future of the world," Clinton said.

    The candidates were equally gracious to Clinton, thanking him for his work with the initiative.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080925/ap_on_el_pr/mccain
  6. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    "It is time to come together" Obama says but yet attacks McCain for postponing the debate? Yeah you got to love Obama version of coming together
  7. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

    65,424 Messages
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    Lawmakers: Financial bailout agreement reached

    By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and DAVID ESPO, Associated Press Writers
    1 minute ago



    WASHINGTON - Warned that time was running short to bolster the distressed economy, congressional Republicans and Democrats reported agreement in principle Thursday on a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, and said they would present it to the Bush administration in hopes of a vote within days.

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    Emerging from a two-hour negotiating session, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said, "We are very confident that we can act expeditiously."

    "I now expect that we will indeed have a plan that can pass the House, pass the Senate (and) be signed by the president," said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.

    The bipartisan consensus on the general direction of the legislation was reported just hours before President Bush was to host presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain and congressional leaders at the White House for discussions on how to clear obstacles to the unpopular rescue plan.

    Key lawmakers said at midday that few difficulties actually remained.

    "There really isn't much of a deadlock to break," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

    Bush told the nation in a televised address Wednesday night that passage of the package his administration has proposed is urgently needed to calm the markets and restore confidence in the reeling financial system. His top spokeswoman, Dana Perino, had told reporters earlier Thursday that "significant progress" was being made.

    Financial markets were mixed in early trading; the Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 200 points on optimism about the deal but a credit market squeeze remained as doubts about the proposed plan's effectiveness drove demand for short-term, safe-haven assets.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Bush's agreement with Democrats on limiting pay for executives of bailed out financial institutions and giving taxpayers an equity stake in the companies cleared a significant hurdle.

    The core of the plan envisions the government buying up sour assets of shaky financial firms in a bid to keep them from going under and to stave off a potentially severe recession.

    Even as political figures haggled over the shape and price of the bailout, new economic indicators showed that orders for big-ticket manufactured goods plunged in August by the largest amount in seven months and that new applications for unemployment benefits were at their highest level in seven years.

    And new home sales tumbled in August to the slowest pace in 17 years, while the average sales price fell by the largest amount on record. It served to further dramatize the problem that Washington is trying to solve.

    Bush acknowledged Wednesday night that the bailout would be a "tough vote" for lawmakers. But he said failing to approve it would risk dire consequences for the economy and most Americans.

    "Without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold," Bush said as he worked to resurrect the unpopular bailout package. "Our entire economy is in danger."

    Bush's warning came soon after he invited Obama and McCain, one of whom will inherit the economic mess in four months, as well as key congressional leaders to a White House meeting Thursday to work on a compromise.

    With the administration's original proposal considered dead in Congress, House leaders said they were making progress toward revised legislation that could be approved.

    Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have been crisscrossing Capitol Hill in recent days, shuttling between public hearings on the proposal and private meetings with lawmakers, to sell the proposal.

    Obama and McCain are calling for a bipartisan effort to deal with the crisis, little more than five weeks before national elections in which the economy has emerged as the dominant theme.

    "The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail," they said in a joint statement Wednesday night. "This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe."

    Presidential politics intruded, nonetheless, when McCain said earlier Wednesday he intended to return to Washington and was asking Obama to agree to delay their first debate, scheduled for Friday, to deal with the meltdown.

    Obama said the debate should go ahead.

    Lawmakers in both parties have objected strenuously to the rescue plan over the past two days, Republicans complaining about federal intervention in private business and Democrats pressing to tack on more conditions and help for beleaguered homeowners.

    But many in both parties said they were open to legislation, although on different terms than the White House has proposed.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080925/ap_on_bi_ge/financial_meltdown
  8. canters

    canters Active Member

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    Sounds like the Dems may have blinked and given in to keep McCain from getting the credit if it had lasted over the weekend. We will see.

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