Early Briefing: Md.'s Hoyer Holds His Nose


House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, en route to a leadership meeting, is unhappy about additions to the plan, but is urging colleagues to vote for it. (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

Metro Staff writer John Wagner checks in with House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) to get his views on the now revived bailout package headed for a possible vote later today.

Nearly two years after his ascension to the No. 2 position in the House, Maryland's longest-serving congressman is facing one of the biggest challenges of his career, both on Capitol Hill and back home, as he tries to sell what he believes is a flawed, but necessary, deal.

Since the House voted down an earlier version of the $700 billion bailout Monday, Hoyer, who was first elected to Congress in 1981, has been a constant presence on national television, handicapping future votes and warning of the consequences if Congress does not act.

He has been working the phones, telling fellow fiscally conservative Democrats in particular not to abandon the "rescue package," despite the deficit-expanding measures added by the Senate.

At the same time, Hoyer has been trying to reassure voters in his district that the bailout is needed, despite calls to his office that he says are now running about 3-to-1 in opposition (down from 6-to-1 a few days ago).

About three hours after getting off the air with two local radio hosts, the often-loquacious Hoyer was being peppered with questions by more than 50 Capitol Hill reporters packed in a conference room that is part of his office suite.

Despite earlier indications to the contrary, Hoyer told the reporters, he did not expect too many fiscally conservative Democrats, known as Blue Dogs, to reverse course from Monday and vote against the bill. Even though they are concerned that measures added by the Senate will add to the deficit, they understand that the stakes for Main Street are too high for it to fail, Hoyer said.

"The Blue Dogs have a problem. They are responsible people," he said to laughter.

In other news:

* American Community Properties Trust, a St. Charles-based real estate development firm, named Stephen Griessel chief executive, succeeding J. Michael Wilson. Wilson will continue to serve as chairman.

Griessel has been consulting for the company for the past 16 months, a period in which ACPT had considered taking itself private. He is slated to receive an annual salary of $550,000, restricted stock totaling 363,743 shares, and depending on whether certain performance goals are met, a bonus of up to $330,000.

Separately, the Wilson family agreed to give Griessel the economic benefit of 7 percent of their shares in the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

By Dan Beyers  |  October 3, 2008; 8:45 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch
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Comments

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This bailout is a big joke on the American people, but unfortunately it is not funny. One story I heard said that small business owners need to be able to borrow money to make their payrolls. Well if that is the case and they have been in business more than a couple of years then they have much bigger problems with their business models than what is going on in Washington. Their payrolls should be paid from business profits. Maybe they just think they are in business, but are just really playing the old game of taking money from Peter to pay Paul. That is not how successful business operate. In fact most successful businesses are actually lenders in the form of reserves that they keep in the bank and stock of other companies that they own. So would someone break it to these irresponsible fools that need to borrow money to pay employees and to purchase inventory that they are only in the business of paying interest to banks rather than making profits and getting interest paid on them.

Doing business this way is like the landlord that really can't afford to be a landlord so his renters are never happy and his properties are falling apart. Then a downward spiral takes place. His property value drops because he doesn't fix things and he doesn't fix things because his property value drops because what should be profits are sucked up as bank interest because of the bad loan he had to make to get a property that he couldn't afford in the first place. It saddens me to learn that apparently our country's businesses are operating this way.

If the banks that made irresponsible loans are allowed to fail, the banks that made responsible loans will take up the slack and grow. This bailout is just a big smoke screen to help the huge banks that contribute to the campaigns of both parties. It is wrong to ask every American to pay $2,333 (even more after the "sweeteners") to bailout Billionaire bankers.

Posted by: RW | October 3, 2008 10:04 AM

Damn people! This is a time a great joy! You are all thinking inside the money box. Who's money is it? Pull out a bill, any denomination. Look at it. What does it say? Federal Reserve Note. OK What is the Federal Reserve? It is NOT a branch of the government. It is a cartel of people who can't produce, who sole means of sustenance is to suck off humanity's productivity. You don't need money. We need TRUST. And then we need to be productive to uphold TRUST. Let the bankers fall, and let us invent a new paradigm on the network of this one. I propose a credit commonwealth, with at least 5 public mints. Of course, as soon as technologically feasible, I am definitely in favor of digital currency in lieu of coin or paper. By feasible, I am meaning a network so transparent so as to make crime impossible. But we the people need to get smart on economics, and all the interconnectivity that compose and maintain them systems of a postmodern global trading community. Because without trade, humanity will resort to more violence. But we don't need money for it to work. This is the world's chance to redefine the world system. But no one is even THINKING ABOUT THAT OPTION! Why not?

Posted by: Jason_usborne@usa.com | October 3, 2008 10:29 AM

This bill should not be allowed to pass. For the amount of ransom these thieves are demanding, we the people can solve the issues without the con-men in this nation or running all the other nations on this planet. The only sustainable future that I can see is one where the national borders have disappeared, caste systems have fallen away like husks from grain. This (will) happen when the people have used TRUST as the bedrock of their economy. When trust is abused, all other currencies are NOTHING. This current system of debt, like the innards of a vampire, is not sustainable.

Posted by: jason_usborne@usa.com | October 3, 2008 10:37 AM

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