Consensus Emerging In Senate On Bailout

While the Senate has taken up the bailout bill, so far there has been very little actual debate on the floor, with lawmakers from both sides pledging to support the bill Wednesday afternoon.

Even Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, a staunch fiscal conservative, said he would reluctantly sign off on the bailout.

However, Coburn warned that Congress had better change its big-spending ways.

“If anybody in America is mad about this situation, there’s only one place they need to direct their anger and its right at the Congress of the United States,” he said on the floor.

“And its not specific members, it’s bad habits.”

On the opposite end of the political spectrum, Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski said she too would reluctantly sign off on the bill.

“I will vote for this bill,” said Mikulski. “But I know that like the taxpayers...I know that they are angry and mad as hell. And so am I.”

Mikulski said the “greed and lax regulatory practices of this administration got us into this mess” but said the consequences of inaction are too great to vote against the bailout

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton also said she would support the bailout.

“Tonight we will vote on legislation none of us wish we were considering and none of us can afford to see fail,” Clinton said. “The costs of inaction are far too great.”

However, some senators did dissent. Republican Sen. David Vitter said on the floor he would vote against the package because it did not do enough to address the fundamental, long-term problems in the economy.

A vote on the package is expected around 7:30 p.m.

Consensus emerging in Senate on bailout