This was certainly one of the most unique days of political theater at the Capitol and the White House. In the photo above, surely a rare one, President George Bush met with Congressional leaders and the presidential candidates, Sen. John McCain, seen in the background and Sen. Barack Obama, seen in the foreground.
Under the deal among key lawmakers, the Treasury secretary would get $250 billion immediately and could have an additional $100 billion if he certified it was needed, an approach designed to give lawmakers a stronger hand in controlling the unprecedented rescue. Aides described the details on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The plan's centerpiece still is for the government to buy the toxic, mortgage-based assets of shaky financial institutions in a bid to keep them from going under and setting off a cascade of ruinous events, including wiped-out retirement savings, rising home foreclosures, closed businesses, and lost jobs. ...
Among other changes agreed to by the congressional negotiators was a limit on pay for executives of bailed-out financial institutions and an equity stake in rescued companies for the government.
"We are giving the secretary authority that he will need in order to act and the funding that he will need," Mr. Dodd said after the meeting, referring to the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr. "We also have dealt, I think effectively, with the issue of effective oversight, with homeownership preservation as well as with executive compensation."
So far, this sounds much more acceptable than the Bush Administration's original demand to disburse the $700 billion without oversight. There is no reason to capitulate to a lame duck president with a 24 percent approval rating. Not a big fan of this bailout, but, Dodd and Frank are the right Democrats to lead the charge.