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Senate Democrats Grill Paulson And Bernanke

Senate Democrats spent over an hour Wednesday night grilling Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the administration’s proposed bailout legislation, but did not announce any breakthroughs following the session.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described the meeting as a "good exchange" and said 23 different senators had questions for the officials.

Reid hailed Bernanke and Paulson's patience with his caucus, saying the only pause in the proceedings came when Paulson had to use the restroom.

However, lawmakers had few specifics to announce after the meeting.

“We haven’t arrived yet at a result,” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd told reporters. “There is an agreement about things that we feel are important in the package, but it is not done yet.”

Many Democratic senators said they thought there was broad agreement with Paulson and Bernanke on the need for limits on executive compensation and on increased regulation and oversight of financial firms. However, the lawmakers cautioned that the details still needed to be worked out.

“This is a slow process, but I think every day we are making progress,” said Sen. Charles Schumer.


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