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Congress close on bailout compromise
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Scott Jagow: I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Congress move this fast on anything. But the word out this morning is that Republicans and Democrats are close to a bailout agreement. Democratic leaders plan to bring it to this emergency summit at the White House later on. Our Washington correspondent Steve Henn joins us, as Marketplace continues its coverage of the financial crisis. Steve, I know you’ve been digging around, what’s in this compromise?
Steve Henn: Well, right now, the Democrats have gotten a lot of things into this deal at least at this point that they wanted. You know, there are limits on executive compensation, there’s a provision that the will allow the government to end up owning a stake of the companies it helps out potentially, which was something that was important to them, and there are efforts to help keep homeowners in their homes. They’re not doing everything they wanted to do but many things they wanted to do to give the Treasury Secretary the power and really sort of push him toward renegotiating the terms of problem loans. There’s language in there that they hope and they believe will do that.
Jagow: OK, what was taken out?
Henn: Well, one of the things that was taken out — I don’t know if you remember this from the original deal — but there was language in the original proposal that basically said the Treasury Secretary’s decisions around the bailout couldn’t be reviewed by anyone, ever, period. That’s out. The other thing that some more liberal Democrats have been pushing very hard for were some bankruptcy reform proposals, and it looks like this morning that’s out as well.
Jagow: OK so this consensus is heading for review at the White House for this emergency summit. Then what happens?
Henn: There’s a meeting this morning on the hill between lead Republicans and lead Democrats. If those folks emerge from the meeting with something solid in hand — and right now it looks like those chances are pretty good — we could be looking at a vote in the House or the Senate as early as tomorrow or Saturday, and wrapping this up before the weekend’s out, at least.
Jagow: Before the markets open on Monday.
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