House, Senate Eyeing Adjournment

Posted September 28, 2008 at 10:29am

The legislative language for the massive financial sector bailout bill has yet to be finalized, but the House is prepared to vote on a rule today allowing lawmakers to take up the rescue package as soon as it is ready.

It remains unclear when the bailout bill will reach the House and Senate floors. The House is likely to take it up first, probably on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will need to reach an agreement with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in order to quickly bring the bill to the Senate floor.

House Republicans will meet early this afternoon to review proposed changes to the economic rescue package. Members have seen an outline of the deal struck early this morning but have yet to see legislative language, according to a senior GOP aide.

Republicans were able to attach several of the provisions that they sought in a final bailout package. These include requiring an insurance guarantee program in lieu of spending taxpayer dollars outright, making only $350 billion of $700 billion available until Congress has an opportunity to rescind the funds and authorizing the Securities and Exchange Commission to suspend mark-to-market rules.

The House will come back into session at 1 p.m. today to resume debate on the remaining 13 bills on the suspension calendar. No time has been set yet for votes.

The Senate is not in session today, but Senators expect to have a busy Monday — and possibly Wednesday — as they wrap up unfinished business.

Reid has scheduled a vote Monday afternoon on an Amtrak bill, and he intends to move to the India nuclear deal soon thereafter. The rest of the week is up in the air, although lawmakers will be observing Rosh Hashana on Monday evening and Tuesday. Reid said before he closed the chamber on Saturday that the Senate could return Wednesday to complete anything that has not been cleared.