US Chamber: Senate Could Vote by Weekend
After spending the morning on the Hill, U.S. Chamber of Commerce top lobbyist R. Bruce Josten said that he believes that the Senate is moving toward a positive vote on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill by this weekend, and expects the House will follow by early next week, meaning Friday's scheduled adjournment is off the table.
In a conference call with reporters just concluded, Josten and Marty Regalia, the Chamber's top economist, said the House is moving toward putting "the finishing touches" on its version of the bailout bill before the scheduled 4 p.m. meeting with President Bush at the White House.
Josten said he understands the desire to prevent bailout company executives from getting golden parachutes, but nevertheless cautioned lawmakers against writing draconian restrictions on executive compensation into the bailout bill.
The reason: If Congress tells the bailout companies that they can only pay their top executives government-level salaries, then they won't get the smart people they need to run them, the Chamber said.
"You don't want somebody running the situation who is purchased on the cheap because they don't have the experience," Regalia said.
-- Frank Ahrens
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