The Bush administration and House Democratic leadership are optimistic that the $700 billion financial rescue package approved by the Senate on Wednesday night will receive a favorable vote from members of the House on Friday.
We feel fairly optimistic that we have a good chance for a successful vote, Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said in a briefing for reporters today.
Were not going to take a bill to the floor that doesnt have the votes, added House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a Capitol Hill news briefing. Im optimistic that we will take a bill to the floor.
The House had rejected the gist of the rescue package Monday by a 228-205 vote. The Senate approved a legislative package that included the rescue provisions, 74-25.
The Senate add-ons including a series of popular tax breaks and a provision that would raise the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance for bank deposits to $250,000 from $100,000 are credited by lawmakers and the White House for breathing new life into the measures prospects in the House.
Mr. Fratto said President Bush has been working the phones since yesterday, soliciting support for the Senate-approved measure, mostly from House Republicans. Some of those members who voted against the original bill indicated they would support the revised package, Mr. Fratto added.
Ms. Pelosi said House Democrats were not planning to amend the Senate-approved legislation before a House vote.
The addition of the increase in FDIC insurance and inclusion of the tax extenders should prove to be the magic contributions, said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington lobbying organization for major financial institutions.
In remarks at the White House this morning, the president also said taxpayers have been sounding an alarm because they are concerned about their jobs, savings, houses and businesses. The House of Representatives must listen to these voices and get this bill passed so we can get about the business of restoring confidence, Mr. Bush said.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who voted against the bill Monday, planned to vote against the new package, according to Molly Simmons, his spokeswoman.
Talk about lipstick on a pig, Mr. DeFazio said in a news release. They added some tax cuts so Republicans would vote for it, and added mental health parity so that progressives and liberals would pay for it, but its the same flawed plan that the House defeated earlier this week.