House to Take Up Rule, Bailout on Friday

Posted October 1, 2008 at 4:37pm

The House will take up the rule for the $700 billion bailout bill Friday morning and then vote on the bill that afternoon, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Wednesday.

Hoyer said he is “personally disappointed” that the Senate added tax extenders to the bill without offsets. He criticized the Senate’s “take it or leave it” approach and said it might prompt fiscally conservative Democrats to oppose the bill, but he said there isn’t enough time to make changes to the package.

Asked if Democrats will allow bailout alternatives to come up during the floor debate, Hoyer said that “none have been agreed to at this point in time.”

He said he has been in several meetings with Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) today but doesn’t know how many Republicans are prepared to back the Senate bill. The bill fell by 12 votes earlier this week and Republicans are searching for a few Members who might switch their vote now that the package has been retooled.

“I think many are going to find it … to their liking,” Hoyer said, pointing to the Senate’s addition of tax extenders and a provision to increase the federal insurance cap on bank deposits.

On another front, Hoyer said economic stimulus legislation is unlikely to move because of opposition from Senate Republicans, a situation he called unfortunate.