House Republicans want another try
U.S. Capitol Building
TEXT OF STORY
Kai Ryssdal: House majority leader Steny Hoyer said today it's going to be Friday before the House takes up whatever the Senate does pass. And when it does, both Democratic and Republican leaders are going to have to deal with some GOP members who are pushing for a more market-based approach. Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer explains.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: Some House Republicans have their own solutions to the financial crisis. They would cut federal spending and change the way overseas corporate profits are taxed. They would also make companies buy insurance on shaky subprime investments, instead of having the government buy those assets outright. Columbia University economist Perry Mehrling says firms would buy that insurance from the FDIC. If the companies' subprime assets tanked, they would take a hit before the insurance kicks in.
Perry Mehrling: The loss is like the deductible. Anything above that -- anything, unlimited amount, OK -- the FDIC would take.
But Mehrling says the insurance plan would probably cost the same as what the Senate plan envisions and would still leave taxpayers on the hook. Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff agrees. He says the insurance proposals are so similar, they're not worth fighting over.
Mehrling: They shouldn't go to war over this issue with the House Republicans. If this is what it takes to get the House Republicans to support the bill, they should say, fine.
But the Republicans may have to compromise on other things like spending cuts and tax breaks. That's because they're starting to get calls from angry constituents, who watched the value of their 401-Ks plummet after the House rejected the White House plan. James Thurber teaches political science at American University.
James Thurber: It is not, in their mind, a bailout of people who get very high salaries. It's a matter of their assets, right now, going down in the market.
Thurber says no one's going to ignore angry phone calls just weeks before the elections.
In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.