Lawmakers report progress on financial rescue deal

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

WASHINGTON (AP) - Key lawmakers in both parties and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have worked late into the night. They're trying to close an agreement on a multi-billion-dollar government bailout of distressed financial companies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says "quite a bit" of progress is being made on a deal that Congress could send to President Bush as early as Monday after votes in both houses.

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus says they're "making a lot of headway." The goal is to strike a deal before stock markets around the world begin a new week.

A key sticking point has been a new government-sponsored insurance program for lenders, demanded by House Republicans as an alternative to devoting the entire 700-billion-dollars to buying up toxic debt.

The House is scheduled to convene at 1 p.m. Eastern time Sunday. Members are hoping to vote on the bailout by Sunday evening and go home to campaign for re-election. The Senate isn't scheduled to be back in session until Monday morning.

Source: The Associated Press