Inching toward a bailout deal

The latest word on the Paulson plan from Washington is optimistic, unless your name happens to be John McCain.

Published September 25, 2008 5:41PM (EDT)

CNBC is reporting that both Republican and Democratic legislators are saying that the basics of a bailout deal have been essentially reached. (Thanks to bradical at DailyKos for the tip.)

Emerging from a two-hour negotiating session, Sen. Chris Dodd said, "We are very confident that we can act expeditiously."

Sen. Bob Bennett, a Utah Republican, told reporters: "I now expect that we will indeed have a plan that can pass the House, pass the Senate (and) be signed by the president."

..."I think we've made significant progress, we have a framework that we can try to close on," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "And we hope that we can get it done quickly."

Details are still scarce, particularly on the crucial issue of whether the government will get warrants giving taxpayers a potential stake in companies that participate in the rescue plan. But the optimism strikes a sharp contrast with the pessimism expressed by Sen. John McCain earlier Thursday morning.

Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative, McCain said:

I cannot carry on a campaign as though this dangerous situation had not occurred, or as though a solution were at hand, which it clearly is not. As of this morning I suspended my political campaign ...

It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration's proposal to meet the crisis. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time. So I am returning to Washington to seek five fundamental improvements to this critical legislation.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

MORE FROM Andrew Leonard

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Globalization How The World Works John Mccain