Watch CBSN Live

Boehner Letter To Pelosi

One day after roiling negotiations over an economic rescue package, House Republican Leader John A. Boehner urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday to consider a proposal two of his members crafted in a late-night scramble earlier this week - even though it remains little more than a statement of principles.

In his letter to the speaker, Boehner threatened that "a large majority of Republicans cannot - and will not - support Sec. Paulson's plan" unless she actively considers some of the measures offered by his working group.

"In the interest of the men and women we represent in Congress, I hope it does not come to that conclusion," Boehner said in his letter to the speaker.

With Republicans still overwhelmingly opposed to Treasury's bailout proposal - as well as the principles on which House and Senate Democrats agreed to on Thursday - Democratic leaders can't do much until GOP leaders iron out concerns on their side of the aisle. Leaving a meeting of Democratic leaders on Friday, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said, "The reality is that you're going to need very significant votes from both sides of the aisle."

But Republicans will expect some sort of face-saving measures before supporting a Democratic package, lawmakers and aides suggested Friday, meaning Pelosi might have to choose from the menu offered by  the GOP alternative.

To that end, Boehner complained in his letter to Pelosi that House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) "announced that a bipartisan deal was at hand even though the reservations about the underlying proposal I had expressed to you had not been addressed.

"Each time such announcements were made, or even rumored, I or my staff made it clear to media and to your staff that any such deal did not include House Republicans," Boehner said in the letter.

Shortly after House and Senate Democrats announced that they had struck a deal in principle on Thursday, a small band of Republican lawmakers have offered an alternative proposal that is gaining steam among other GOP lawmakers. Their plan would fundamentally recast the rescue package as a privately funded insurance backstop instead of Treasury's proposal to create a reverse auction to significantly boost cash flow into the economy. Despite the private financing, there is still significant taxpayer risk if the economy dips significantly over the next few years.

They also included a number of related proposals to increase federal revenue as the plan is being implemented. Boehner attached their proposal to his letter to the speaker.

The full text of his letter is after the jump.
Continue reading post...