• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Economy Wails; Congress Flails « The Washington Independent


Rep. Mike Pence (WDCpix)

Responding to the nation’s economic crisis, Washington policymakers are experiencing a meltdown of their own.

As Wall Street fluctuated erratically, congressional leaders on Friday resumed efforts to hash out a compromise plan to bailout the ailing financial system after negotiations broke down late the night before. Key lawmakers continued to claim progress.

But there was no indication that House Republicans, who say the administration’s $700 billion blueprint goes too far to interfere in the private marketplace, are ready to drop their opposition. Some equate the plan with socialism.


Illustration by: Matt Mahurin

“To have the freedom to succeed,” Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said in a statement, “we must also have the freedom to fail, and any solution to the present crisis must preserve that essential economic liberty.”

Bolstering the Republicans’ case, voters have bombarded their lawmakers with calls and emails in recent days, demanding that Wall Street bear some responsibility for the crisis it created.

Hoping to calm jittery markets and an outraged public, President George W. Bush made a brief statement Friday morning from the White House, calling for quick approval of what he considers a vital rescue plan.

“There are disagreements over aspects of the rescue plan,” Bush said, “but there is no disagreement that something substantial must be done.” Bush vowed that lawmakers “will rise to the occasion.”

Adding to the urgency, federal regulators on Thursday seized debt-laden Washington Mutual, the largest bank failure in the country’s history.

Under the White House plan, drawn up last week by Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson Jr., the government would spend up to $700 billion in taxpayer funds to buy up the toxic, mortgage-based securities accumulated in the country’s banks and financial institutions, that are clogging the free flow of credit nationwide. Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spent much of the week on Capitol Hill trying to sell their plan to a highly skeptical Congress, claiming that inaction could end in economic meltdown.

None are so skeptical as House Republicans, who have drafted their own plan requiring troubled banks and Wall Street firms to insure their tainted investments through premiums paid to the Treasury. The GOP plan also eliminates the capital gains tax for two years.

“We want voluntary investor capital, not involuntary taxpayer capital to come in and help solve these problems,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told a Texas TV station.

In a Sept. 26 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned that, unless the GOP alternative is given “serious consideration” during negotiations, “a large majority of Republicans cannot — and will not — support Sec. Paulson’s plan.” As a sign of some progress, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) joined the negotiations Friday.

Democrats have made it clear that they support the basic framework of Paulson’s plan, but have no intention of voting for it without GOP support. Democrats are also pushing for a number of consumer-friendly provisions, including more help for struggling homeowners and bolstered oversight of the Treasury’s debt-buying efforts.

Senate Republicans have joined Democrats in calling for more taxpayer protections. The powers given to the Treasury to administer the program, critics say, are both too sweeping and too vague. As some indication of how vague the Paulson plan is, the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan group charged with estimating the cost of legislation, couldn’t fathom a guess.

“The Secretary,” the CBO wrote, “would have the authority to purchase virtually any asset, at any price, and sell it at any future date; the lack of specificity regarding how that authority would be implemented makes it impossible at this point to provide a quantitative analysis of the net cost to the federal government.”

Debate over how to tackle the financial turmoil has swept into the presidential race. GOP hopeful Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) shocked the country Wednesday by stalling his campaign to visit Washington in search of a compromise.

Democrats, including party nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), pounced on that decision, calling it politically opportunistic. Some said McCain’s intervention helped sink the progress negotiators had made Thursday.

In an interview with MS-NBC Friday, Blunt seemed to confirm that charge.

“His position in that discussion yesterday was one that stopped a deal from finalizing,” Blunt said.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.