A long week of negotiation and pleading produced a compromise measure that Congress could approve in an effort to shore up the nation’s finances and loosen up the credit markets.
Southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt , the US House Minority Whip, entered negotiations the weekend after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson unveiled his $700 billion dollar plan to right the listing financial sector. Blunt faults the Bush Administration for casting the crisis in the wrong terms. He says terms such as "toxic assets", "bailout" and "illiquid assets" started the discussion in about as unhelpful way as could be started. He says that created the concern around the country that trickled down to Congress with constituents flooding switchboards and e-mail boxes with harsh criticism of the plan which seemed simply a bailout of Wall Street.
Negotiations continued. Tax breaks and other incentives were added to a package the Senate approved and returned to the House, enough for 58 members to switch their votes and give the package a comfortable margin of victory.
Blunt understands that many Congressional members worried about the political fallout. He says they can justify it, because the bill changed. Blunt says members must now return to their districts and explain why approval was necessary.