UPDATE: Let’s be clear, as the New York Times updates:
“My hope is that we can get a deal,” said Senator Christopher J. Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, hours after House and Senate negotiators had announced that an accord was at hand. President Bush had hoped that an agreement could be announced after the late-afternoon meeting.
Mr. Dodd, looking tired and annoyed, complained that the late complications were making the episode sound more like “a rescue plan for John McCain,” the Republican presidential candidate, than one for the financial system… [Pols emphasis]
The impression that much remains to be done was reinforced by Mr. Dodd’s comments. After saying he still hoped for a deal, the senator said it was important to take “whatever time it takes” to arrive at a good arrangement, since the effects will be felt for “years and years to come.”
It has become abundantly clear, that members of Congress are hearing from their constituents, many of whom are furious about the proposed rescue. [Pols emphasis]
UPDATE: What the hell is going on? Talks now in “disarray,” according to CNN:
Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, released a statement saying, “The president appreciates the bipartisan members of the congressional leadership and the two presidential candidates coming to the White House today to discuss how to finalize the financial rescue package. There is a clear sense of urgency and agreement on the need to stabilize the financial markets, and prevent a massive financial crisis from affecting everybody in America.”
The statement went on to say that the group will continue to work on a deal.
But according to Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who attended the meeting, “we will not have a deal.”
Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, who also attended the meeting, said Thursday that the meeting was contentious and blasted what he calls McCain’s inaction.
“I’m not quite sure what John McCain said at the meeting. He said something. … He had no indication he was for any particular plans. I don’t know where he is on all of this,” Dodd said…
A done deal, as the New York Times reports:
House and Senate negotiators from both parties said Thursday that they had reached general agreement to move forward with the Bush administration’s proposed $700 billion rescue effort of the nation’s financial system.
Emerging from a nearly three-hour meeting in the Capitol, Republicans and Democrats said they would continue working through the day to complete the legislative language and would begin final negotiations with the Treasury.
It was unclear if a final draft would be ready by 3:55 p.m. when Congressional leaders are scheduled to meet at the White House with President Bush and the two presidential candidates, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois.
But lawmakers in both parties said that few substantive differences and no major obstacles remained. They said the bill would authorize the full $700 billion requested by President Bush, but that Congress was intent on disbursing the money in installments…
As Money reports:
Stocks surged Thursday, with the Dow up more than 230 points, as investors breathed a sigh of relief that a $700 billion bank bailout deal is nearing completion, after days of heated debate.
Optimism about bailout plan tempered the latest signs of economic distress – including GE’s profit warning and weak reports on new home sales, weekly jobless claims and demand for manufactured goods…
Hinnenkamp said that passage of a bailout would likely spark a euphoric reaction in the short run, as investors breathe a sigh of relief that one of the weights on the economy has been lifted. Additionally, investors would take reassurance from seeing Congress put this through, despite party differences.
“In the longer term, Wall Street might acknowledge that it doesn’t like all the provisions,” he said. “But in the shorter run, it should restore confidence to the markets, something that has been sorely lacking of late.”
Optimism about the deal enabled investors to look past the session’s negatives, including GE (GE, Fortune 500)’s profit warning, a seven-year high for jobless claims, a big drop in durable goods orders and a report that showed new home sales fell to a 17-year low…