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Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Agreement Reached? (UPDATE)

Media reports say that Congressional negotiators have reached an agreement in principle on the structure of the financial bailout.

Top congressional negotiators have announced that they have a "fundamental agreement" on a government bailout of the nation's financial system, granting extraordinary powers to the secretary of Treasury to purchase hundreds of billions in bad debt while attempting to stem foreclosures for homeowners struggling on Main Street.

The announcement came in the Capitol after a three-hour meeting involving a dozen of the top negotiators from both parties and both chambers of Congress.

Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said, "We believe we are prepared to act expeditiously on a package ... and send a message to the markets."

Color me skeptical, but I don't buy that this will be so easy. So far each and every report about this quotes Robert Bennett from Utah as the only Republican. Now, with all due respect to Mr. Bennett, but I have simply not heard of him. I have however heard of Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence, Richard Shelby, Jim Bunning, and Jim DeMint and all of them weren't merely opposed to the bailout but diametrically opposed to it.

I have a hard time believing that the Republican leadership is going to go along with this. The public is generally against this bailout and this goes against their own general principles. Are they really going to get on board to a bill that they not only disagree with but one that they would have much more political leverage opposing?

My money still says that this bill will undergo a significant transformation before it is finally passed.


House Republicans appear to be balking.

House Republicans have not reached a deal yet on a $700 billion plan to bail out Wall Street, House GOP leader Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, said.

I am encouraged by the bipartisan progress," Boehner said in a statement. But "House Republicans have not agreed to any plan at this point."

Boehner's comments came as Democratic Rep. Barney Frank told CNBC that lawmakers have agreed on most key issues in the proposed $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan, but House Republicans still aren't on board.

As I said, this thing is far from over.

and now Richard Shelby is balking.

Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, told CNBC he has doubts about the Bush administration's proposed $700 billion financial rescue plan.

Shelby added that he plans to raise the issues at a meeting with lawmakers at the White House Thursday afternoon.

I have my doubts," the Alabama senator said. "I don't know this will solve all the problems in the economy."

These Republican defections set things up nicely for McCain. Just imagine some more huffing and puffing from Republicans on both sides. Then, the legislature negotiates for hours and hours. Obama shows up for the debate and then at about ten in the evening tomorrow, the legislature announces that they have finally reached an agreement. While Obama was busy preparing for the debate, McCain brokered the deal.

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