MICHAEL R. CRITTENDEN and SIOBHAN HUGHES
The Wall Street Jounral
September 28, 2008
WASHINGTON — Top U.S. policymakers emerged from hours of tense negotiations just after midnight with a tentative agreement on a deal to bail out U.S. financial markets and began working Sunday morning to commit the legislation to paper.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D., Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. Nev.) were flanked by key negotiators in the Capitol as they announced that a $700 billion plan to have Treasury buy up toxic assets had been all but finalized after days of exhausting negotiations involving members, staff and representatives from the Bush administration.
“I think we’re there,” an obviously tired Mr. Paulson said, a sentiment echoed in the statements of negotiators such as House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) and Senate Banking Committee head Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.).
Those present said the bailout plan still needs to be drafted in its final form, a process staff members were expected to continue throughout the night in what one aide called a “marathon drafting session” in Speaker Pelosi’s office just off the rotunda in the Capitol building. A formal announcement is scheduled for some time Sunday, though an exact time and location was not immediately available.