Democrats seek changes to bailout plan

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Rep. John Boehner, Ohio Republican and House minority leader, said a sobering briefing by Mr. Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke late last week to congressional leaders convinced him to support the administration proposal without amendments, despite his reservations.

“This is not a time for ideological purity,” Mr. Boehner said, adding, “This is not a time to be playing games.”

But Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said he was prepared to accept at least some changes to the Paulson plan.

Conservative Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, said Congress could look at issues such as multimillion-dollar executive pay packages and mortgage relief after it passes the plan to address the immediate crisis.

“Let’s put out the fire, and then we can go deal with our favorite solutions to all of these problems,” Mr. Kyl said on “Fox News Sunday.”

But while vowing to include their own priorities in the legislation, Democrats face a political risk if they are seen torpedoing a bailout plan that even their top leaders have conceded is vital.

As key lawmakers labored into the evening Sunday to fashion a bill, Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Democrat and a key player in the back-room negotiations, pledged, “We will not ‘Christmas-tree’ this bill.”

 

About the Author
David R. Sands

David R. Sands

Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.

At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...

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