26 September 2008 16:56 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--President George Bush and top Democrats in Congress said on Friday that bipartisan agreement on terms of a $700bn (€476) bailout of the ?xml:namespace>
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of
Senator Christopher Dodd (Democrat-Massachusetts), chairman of the key Senate Banking Committee, said in broadcast remarks that “We will have a bailout deal, we have to reach an agreement because we have created the expectation of a deal, and now the markets expect it”.
Speaking at the White House on Friday morning, Bush said that “We are going to get a package passed”.
Bush said that while “there are disagreements over aspects of the rescue plan, there is no disagreement that something substantial must be done”.
An emergency meeting held Thursday at the White House with Bush, senior members of his cabinet and leaders of both parties in Congress ended without an agreement, although expectations were high that the session would produce a definitive deal.
However, meeting participants said that objections from Republican members of the House blocked a final consensus.
Those conservative House members - who are already facing tough re-election contests in the home districts on 4 November - voiced opposition to the Treasury Department’s proposed bailout plan because it would burden taxpayers with the $700bn debt.
Conservative Republicans said they wanted a plan that would require those banks to be rescued by the plan to take on the debt load on their own.
Bush appeared to address those concerns raised by his fellow Republicans when he said on Friday morning that “The legislative process is sometimes not very pretty, but we are going to get a package passed”.
“We will rise to the occasion,” Bush said. “Republicans and Democrats will come together and pass a substantial rescue plan.”
“We need to move quickly,” Bush said, adding: “Now, anytime you have a plan this big that is moving this quickly and that requires legislative approval, it creates challenges.”
“Members [of Congress] want to be heard,” he said. “They want to be able to express their opinions, and they should be allowed to express their opinions.”
Pelosi, in remarks made after Thursday’s White House meeting, expressed confidence that a bailout package can be agreed to and indicated that concerns raised by House Republicans may be factored into the final deal.
“We’re not there yet,” she said. “I’m confident that we will be there.”
Referring to debt obligation issues raised by House Republicans, Pelosi said: “I don’t know the full substance of it [the House Republicans’ proposal], but if it’s something that can be included in the bill, in terms of the authority given to the Treasury Secretary, I’m sure that can be worked out.”
“This bill will have bipartisan support and will be signed by the president,” she said.
Additional meetings and negotiations were taking place on Capitol Hill to reach an agreement that all parties can accept, with expectations - from others as well as Pelosi - that a deal can be concluded on Friday.
Additional urgency was added to the already tense discussions with overnight word that the largest
($1 = €0.68)
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