After a three-hour meeting, lawmakers agreed to legislative principles that would approve Treasury's request for the funds, but would break it into installments, according to people familiar with the matter. Treasury would have access to $250 billion immediately, with another $100 billion to follow if needed. Congress would be able to block the last installment through a vote if it was unhappy with the program.It sounds rational to me, but I'm no expert. What do you think?
The agreement could require all companies participating in the program to agree to limits on executive pay—such as restrictions on "golden parachutes." It is also likely to give the government equity warrants in all participating companies.
Still unresolved is whether or not to include changes to bankruptcy law that would give judges the right to change the terms of mortgages. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois made a plea for it to be included, even though many lawmakers and the White House are hotly opposed.
UPDATE: Uh oh:
But after the [White House] meeting broke up about an hour later, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Ala.), who strongly opposes the bailout, told reporters, "I don't believe we have an agreement."...
Sens. McCain (Ariz.) and Obama (Ill.) left the White House after the meeting without speaking to reporters.
A visibly irritated Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, later said on CNN that the meeting was thrown off when Republicans brought up "some new core agreement" that supposedly had been floated by McCain and was being considered by the Treasury Department.
"What this looked like to me was a rescue plan for John McCain," Dodd fumed. "This is a sad day for the country." He said he still hopes that a deal can be struck but that the Republicans "need to get their act together and decide what they're for."