House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, speaking to NPR just now, says Hill Democrats are "making serious progress" in talks with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who's due to appear before his committee in about an hour.
Nonetheless, he cited numerous areas of disagreement and said that Paulson's Friday deadline for the bill was "irrelevant."
Asked what the biggest hang-up was, the colorful Jersey-born Democrat quipped that it was the administration's allergy to accepting any sort of pay caps on executives in companies that take the bailout.
Frank, who is Jewish, likened the negotiations over pay to convincing "the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem to eat bacon on Yom Kippur."
Frank laid out a broad array of potential cap plans, including the requirement of shareholder votes for raises, performance-based packages and so-called "claw-backs," to take away bonuses from under-performing execs.
But he also poo-pooed John McCain for suggesting that pay caps be as low as $400,000 saying such a move would be "destabilizing."