Senate Leaders Promise Deal
Senate leaders from both parties vowed to press ahead on a new bill, with the goal of a re-vote in the House and final Senate action by the end of this week.
"We know what we need to do, and that we need to do it quickly," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor this afternoon. "And we know that time is not the ally of the millions of Americans facing a serious threat to their way of life."
Lawmakers said Monday's market slide forced critics to focus on the potentially dire consequences of continuing to oppose congressional action.
"We sort of have to get hit in the face with it," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). Referring to both his colleagues and his constituents, Alexander added, "All of this is a learning process."
Negotiators are considering a range of possible additions to the bill, but the leading contender is a House Republican proposal to increase the federal insurance limit on bank deposits from the current $100,000 maximum to $250,000.
Although Democrats had rejected the idea over the weekend, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) endorsed the increase this morning, as did his GOP rival in the presidential race, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Advocates of the increase say it would help to stabilize small banks and protect small businesses, both hard hit by the current crisis.
-- Shailagh Murray
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