House Republican Leader John A. Boehner believes the inclusion of both parties' presidential candidates "will, in fact, help speed up the process" for Congress to grant Treasury historic authority to buy distressed financial assets.
"Clearly, it lays more urgency on the Congress to act," Boehner told reporters Thursday. "We know we have to act. We need all hands on deck."
Asked specifically if John McCain will help him pick up any Republican votes that President Bush couldn't, Boehner paused, then said, "Dunno...We don't know what the plan is."
Republicans remain the biggest stumbling block for this financial-market rescue package, particularly if reluctant Democrats don't want to pass an administration proposal on their own. Boehner acknowledged "concern remains" for the Treasury Department proposal before highlighting his bipartisan work with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
"The speaker and I have worked together to try to craft a bipartisan plan that will attract sufficient votes to pass in the House," Boehner said. "Both of us realize America faces a very critical moment and Congress must act, and we must act now."
But on the morning that congressional negotiators were hashing out the final details, Boehner cautioned reporters that "There are no decisions yet."