Do We or Don’t We Have An Agreement?

Do We or Don’t We Have An Agreement?

Tentative agreement reached? Haven’t we heard this before? A few news sources are reporting that a bailout bill agreement has been tentatively reached between congressional leaders and the White House.

From the Wall St Journal

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), in an appearance on the Senate floor Saturday, said there are only a “handful of issues still lingering” for lawmakers to finalize. He said his goal was for the Congress and the Bush administration to at the very least release an outline of the bailout plan before Asian markets open Sunday evening.

Saturday evening, a Senate aide familiar with the talks said a number of specific ideas appeared to be gaining traction, most notably the concept of creating a “financial stability” fund financed by Wall Street.

Also gaining steam was a proposal to eliminate the tax deductions for companies on executive compensation for top officers that is above $400,000.

One issue still to be resolved was how the $700 billion authority to Treasury to buy up toxic assets will be meted out.

Lawmakers want Treasury to receive the authority in tranches, receiving $250 billion immediately and another $100 billion if needed as certified by the president. The remaining $350 billion would be subject to a Congressional vote, giving lawmakers the opportunity to vote to rescind the funds. But a Senate aide familiar with the discussions said Treasury was pushing for a larger initial authority, likely around $500 billion.”

From Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. congressional leaders on Sunday said they had reached the broad outline of a deal to put in place a $700 billion bank bailout but were awaiting details on paper before declaring it finished.

“We’ve made great progress,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters after a night of marathon talks. “We have to get it committed to paper so we can formally agree.”

Are they really any further along? There is a lot of pressure, perhaps, for an announcement that they are closer. What do you think?

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