On a night of acrimony and uncertainty over the historic financial bailout proposal, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to calm the partisan waters.
After yet another closed door meeting with Treasury Secretary Paulson and other leaders, Pelosi said "We’re not there yet. I’m confident that we will be there."
But Pelosi did note that House Republicans had offered an alternative, and she did not dismiss it outright, deferring to Paulson to see if the House GOP alternative _ more based in private capital infusions and deregulation _ should be considered.
"If it’s something that can be included in the bill, in terms of the authority given to the Treasury Secretary, I’m sure that can be worked out," Pelosi said. "If it’s contradictory to the purposes of the legislation, then that’s up to the Secretary to decide."
Pelosi is walking a tightrope here, because she knows the bill could pass now without Republican support, yet she does not want the Democratic caucus to have to carry all the weight on a politically unpopular bailout and let Republicans just vote against it.
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) was more blunt about the situation, saying that "the president has got to go work" convincing House Republicans to back some form of the bailout plan.