Just a skeleton right now. They’ll spend the next few days adding muscle, including how the funds will be phased in and whether the feds will be merely purchasing debt or going the whole nine socialist yards and buying up failing companies themselves.
The group broadly agreed there was a need for:
1) a panel to conduct oversight of how the vast sums of taxpayer cash are spent;
2) taxpayer protections — a way for taxpayers to receive some equity, through warrants, in the companies receiving government aid;
3) limits on executive compensation for officers of the companies receiving government aid — regarding golden parachutes, bonuses based on erroneous earnings (or “clawback”), and tax deductions for bonuses;
4) but a source tells ABC News that there was a problem resolving the issue of how to help homeowners facing foreclosure. Democrats want to re-write bankruptcy laws to enable judges to re-negotiate mortgages; Republicans do not.
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,” [Barney] Frank said.
I know I speak for all of us in saying how gratified I am that Barney Frank and “Countrywide Chris” Dodd are the point men for this deal on the left. For your amusement while we wait for updates, including/especially a statement from McCain (the meeting with Bush and Obama is at 4 p.m.), here’s O’Reilly in full meltdown this afternoon over what a “fat toad” Frank is and how we shouldn’t be listening to certain cigar-chomping private-jet-owning right-wing talk radio superstars given to blaming the crisis on the Clinton administration. Click the image to watch.
Update: Republican voter Bill Clinton gives the bailout thumbs up, and sounds a note being heard more frequently now on both sides: It might ultimately make more money than it costs.
Update: Boehner warns that House Republicans haven’t signed off on anything yet, but he’s “encouraged” by what he’s seen thus far.
Update: Oh my. Boehner’s suddenly calling the deal a “non-starter” and Carl Cameron quotes the McCain campaign as saying it’s “all but dead.” Paulson also suddenly seems to think it’s on life support.