Negotiators Say Deal Struck

Posted September 28, 2008 at 12:21am

House and Senate negotiators emerged from nearly 10 hours of talks early Sunday morning to announce they have a tentative agreement on how to rescue Wall Street from the bad debt that threatens the nation’s economic stability.

“We’ve made great progress,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “We’ve got to get it on paper so we can formally agree.”

Staffers were expected to work through the night to draft the $700 billion proposal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hoped to announce Sunday afternoon that they have a deal. A House vote could come as early as Monday.

“We’ve still got to move to finalize it, but I think we’re there. So far, so good,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said.

As expected, the proposal includes an option sought by House Republicans that would allow the Treasury secretary to establish an insurance program for troubled mortgages and other assets.

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) cautioned that he would have to run the plan by his Members but said he believes an announcement Sunday afternoon is possible.

Participants were vague about most details, only saying that all the contentious elements – such as how to limit executive compensation – had been conceptually worked out.

Aides said they hoped to have more details on the proposal early Sunday.