Senate Democrats say they struck a tentative deal with Henry Paulson this evening that could lead to bailout bill tomorrow, debate over the weekend, and approval by the time markets open on Monday, the Hill reports. Senators emphasize the framework could easily fall apart, but they say that Paulson agreed to consider implementing the plan in stages as well as adding more oversight. A bid to give bankruptcy judges the authority to revise mortgage terms looks unlikely.
“There is high anxiety about the opening of the markets on Monday,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “It’s good to have a deadline, and we have a deadline now.” Added Budget Committee chief Kent Conrad: “We can have these broad agreements in principle, but it’s got to translate into details. And there’s a lot of work to be done.” In his closed-door meeting with senators, Paulson reportedly warned of 10% unemployment amid other dire consequences if the bailout stalls.