Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made the rounds on Capitol Hill - via telephone - Friday, briefing anxious lawmakers on the state of the economy and the need for historic authority to buy up under-valued assets that are clogging the financial system.
The pair briefed House Republicans for 40 minutes Friday morning. The next stop was an early afternoon conference call with senators on both sides of the aisle. Next up: House Democrats.
The Fed chairman and Treasury chief are expected to address Democrats later this afternoon following an earlier briefing by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the rest of the party leadership, according to multiple aides. Paulson is expected to address House Democrats 4, according to Democratic sources. Bernanke will follow him at 4:30.
The two men have been working furiously for weeks to address the mounting financial crisis, but they have taken a lot of time out of their jam-packed schedules to counsel uneasy lawmakers on Capitol Hill.