House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a joint statement Wednesday night to salvage an administration-hatched plan to unclog the troubled economy:
“We continue to work closely with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and with Democratic and Republican Members of the House and Senate to improve the Bush Administration’s initial proposal to stabilize the financial markets. Our shared goal is to make the proposal more accountable to taxpayers.
“Working in a bipartisan manner, we have made progress. We agree that key changes should be made to the Administration’s initial proposal. It must include basic good-government principles, including rigorous and independent oversight, strong executive compensation standards, and protections for taxpayers.
“We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively and on a bipartisan basis to safeguard the interests of American taxpayers.”
This is their first joint statement on the administration plan since appearing together for a quick press briefing after a bipartisan, bicameral meeting in Pelosi's office last Thursday night with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke - but it comes after John McCain roiled ongoing negotiations with his pledge to return to Washington to be a part of the process.