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Lawmakers Reach Accord on Huge Financial Rescue

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Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane
Washington Post
Sunday, Sept 28, 2008

Congressional leaders and the Bush administration this morning said they had struck an accord to insert the government deeply into the nation’s financial markets, agreeing to spend up to $700 billion to relieve Wall Street of troubled assets backed by faltering home mortgages.

House and Senate negotiators from both parties emerged with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. at 12:30 a.m. from a marathon session in the Capitol to announce that they had reached a tentative agreement on a proposal to give Paulson broad authority to organize one of the biggest government interventions in the private sector since the Great Depression.

Full details of the plan were not immediately available. Lawmakers said their staffs would be working through the night to assemble the package and post it on the Internet.

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“We’ve made great progress, but we have to commit it to paper before we can formally agree,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has pledged to make the plan available to the public for at least 24 hours before the House votes on it. A vote could come as early as tomorrow in the House, with the Senate expected to follow soon after.

“We’ve been working on this a long time. We’ve still got more to do to finalize it, but I think we’re there,” Paulson said. “So far, so good.”

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Ohio), who represented House Republicans, the group that had raised the most serious objections to the plan, said he was pleased with the progress made but that he had to take the proposal back to his caucus before committing his support for it. “I look forward to what we’re going to see on paper and presenting these ideas to my colleagues and getting their reaction,” Blunt said.

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This article was posted: Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 3:48 am

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