One day after the House voted down the financial rescue plan, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to have a vote on a bailout proposal in the near future.
Reid on Tuesday did not say when the Senate would move to the bailout bill or what it might look like in order to attract more support from House Republicans, stating only that a vote will happen.
“The blame game needs to endÂÂÂÂÂÂ. We need to move on to doing what’s right for our country,” Reid said in his opening remarks on the Senate floor.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed, saying that he will work with Reid to get the legislation passed. McConnell said the reaction on Monday from the markets was clear enough to force wavering lawmakers to support the program.
Reid plans to meet with Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and other Democratic lawmakers who were involved in the negotiations on Tuesday to map out the way forward on the administration’s proposal to save several struggling financial institutions.
Reid said that he spoke with White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) Tuesday morning about the bailout plan.
Reid said that when lawmakers return Wednesday evening from the Rosh Hashana break, they will vote on the Amtrak bill and possibly the India nuclear agreement. Reid is trying to reach a deal with McConnell to bring the India deal to the floor.
The Senate will hold no votes Tuesday because of the Jewish holiday.
In the House, the path forward remains unclear, but House backers and critics of the $700 billion bailout bill that failed to pass Monday are signaling hope for a new deal by the week’s end.
A Democratic leadership aide said bipartisan talks are ongoing and that phone calls “happened last night and this morning.” Senior GOP aides said they are still trying to figure out when meetings will take place.
“We are all committed to finding a resolution to this issue and finding a resolution to it by week’s end,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday on MSNBC.
Blackburn, a member of the Financial Services Committee and the conservative Republican Study Committee, outlined a list of items that could bring more Republicans on board. These include Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance increases, repatriation of profits from U.S. companies with money earned offshore and 5 percent spending cuts across government agencies, which translates into $103 billion.
“The American people want to make sure they are not the rescuer of first resort,” the Tennessee Republican said. “There are so many free-market-oriented portions of this proposal…that are still there.”
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) said Tuesday that he supports raising the FDIC limit, a proposal backed by some House Republicans. He said he will take up the issue with Congressional leaders; specifically, he called for raising limits from $100,000 to $250,000, which would aid small-business owners.
Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.), vice chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, was confident House leaders will be able to get a majority vote “on Thursday or later this week.”
“We will. We will. We will,” Crowley said on MSNBC.