Dear Rep. Hoyer,Just putting in my 2¢ worth. I've sent variations on this to Sens. Cardin and Mikulski.
The EESA has failed. Time to forget bipartisanship, and pass a strictly Democratic alternative.
If you try to compromise with the GOP, all you get is a bad bill (like the EESA in its present form) that will spend hundreds of billions, but may not actually fix the problem. (How WAS it supposed to work, anyway?) And they may not vote for it anyway, as you found out Monday.
Not to mention, the American people will see it as a bailout for Wall Street, but not a bailout for THEM.
So get the Dem caucus together, and see if everyone can agree on a bill that (a) will work, in the sense of keeping credit from freezing up, and (b) helps the American people directly as well.
Bush can't veto a bill like that, because he says we need a bailout NOW. A veto would make a liar of him. And I bet this is one time when the Senate Republicans don't dare filibuster. So a strictly Dem bailout bill can be enacted. You've got the leverage - USE it!
a) A bill that would work: the 'Swedish plan.' They faced a similar situation in 1992, and it worked. Ask Brad DeLong or Paul Krugman or a host of other economists for details.
b) Helping the American people: extended unemployment benefits, expanded food stamps, spending on infrastructure, maybe even include the SCHIP expansion.
Then pay for it all with a tax on the super-rich - e.g. a 45% bracket on incomes above $10 million.
Think you and your fellow Congresscritters can sell that to the American people? It should be a much easier sell than the current EESA. And I can't see why any actual Dems would be against it. This should be doable. So do it!
Yeah, I know - I'm bailout-obsessed. But right now, it seems more important than dissecting WaPo op-eds.