Monday, September 29, 2008

Hoyer Says Senate May Consider Crisis Bill This Week

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the Senate may take up legislation to address the financial crisis as early as Oct. 2, following the House's rejection today of a $700 billion bank-rescue plan.

``The Senate will be in Thursday,'' Hoyer said. ``The Senate perhaps can pass something. That is a possibility, and send it back to us in which case we would then take it up. We're not out of business until this is addressed.''

He said he has spoken with House Republican Whip Roy Blunt and both agreed they are committed to continue working together on a compromise.

``We're all going to be working on the phone, maybe here, to see if we can reach some agreement on how to move forward,'' Hoyer said.

Hoyer said the House will meet on Oct. 2, though it ``has not been determined'' whether it will take up legislation on the economic crisis, Hoyer said in a statement this evening. Following the House rejection of the bill, U.S. stocks plunged today, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropping the most since the 1987 crash.

``We will continue to work around the clock in a bipartisan manner to forge a solution to the serious threat confronting the economic security of millions of families,'' Hoyer said.

McConnell, Reid

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, declined to comment on how the Senate would proceed next, saying he was consulting with Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Reid's spokesman, Jim Manley, declined to comment.

``We are going to stay here until we get the job done,'' McConnell told reporters. ``No action is not an answer.''

Some West Coast lawmakers were on their way home after the final 228 to 205 vote was announced today, eliminating the opportunity for the House to immediately reconsider the bill, Representative Jim Moran said. The Virginia Democrat said Democrats might draft their own bill and come back to work Oct. 2 after the Jewish holiday.

``We hold the cards now,'' Moran said. ``We gave them every opportunity.''

House Republican Leader John Boehner said after the vote, ``I don't know that we know the path forward at this point.'' He said Democratic and Republican leaders would have to work to persuade more of their members to back a rescue.

Representative Barney Frank, a lead negotiator of the legislation, said lawmakers ``have to wait and see what happens'' and how the economy reacts to the vote.

Frank said he was persuaded by the arguments of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke that there is a serious problem that requires government intervention.

``I would like nothing better than to be proven wrong,'' he said.

No comments: