Waiting to move forward on the issue
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Scott Jagow: The members of Congress are gonna have to dig deep to get us through this crisis. Partisanship was rampant yesterday as the House shot down the bailout package. But the economy remains in peril, and this issue is pressing.
Let’s go straight to Washington, where our correspondent Steve Henn is standing by. Steve, what happens now?
Steve Henn: Rosh Hashanah — the House is out for two days. And beyond that, not a lot is known. I mean, the Senate could take up a bill first and pass it, but Senator Dodd said he’s reluctant to do that unless he knows, has some idea of what could pass the House. I mean, the real fight is in the House. So until they come back or until, you know, 12 members of the House who voted neigh step forward and say oh no, we made a mistake, you know, I think we’re not gonna see a solution to this until Thursday.
Jagow: Well Steve, what explanations are being given for this not passing?
Henn: Well, you know, this was really a grassroots revolt, and it was really two revolts — you know, one from the left and one from the right. There are lots of reasons not to like this bill, and ultimately the rank and file on both parties decided to vote against it for really different reasons. You know, I think for this to pass, one of two things has to happen — either a political leader in one of the parties needs to step up and say “We have to do this for the good of the American people,” and that person has to have the clout — i.e. a presidential candidate — to actually deliver those votes. Or the other thing that could happen is over the next two days, the markets perform so badly and everyone becomes convinced that this is so serious that 12 members of the House who voted no say you know what, we were wrong.
Jagow: Well we do have an election in a month, and it seems an opportune time for either one of the presidential candidates to step forward here and propel himself to the presidency — where are they?
Henn: Well, no one wants to own this issue. Anyone in a tight election doesn’t want this to be their bailout. Right, it’s fine if it’s Bush’s bailout, or Paulson’s bailout, because they’re not running. You know, both presidential candidates have been supportive of a deal in principle, but no one really wants to step up and say this is mine, and I’m going to make it work as is.
Jagow: All right, Steve Henn in Washington. Thank you.
Henn: Thank you.
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