A quick update from a knowledgeable source who works in that big building with the dome ...
I don't think it'll be hard to explain why Senate Republicans had the final say: that's what the Constitution and Senate rules require. How else would we have passed anything?
I do think it'll be hard for Senate Republicans to explain themselves.
They were invited, repeatedly, to participate in more than a week of negotiations with a Republican White House. They declined.
They were asked to provide an alternative bill. They refused.
Finally, one of their members - Senator Corker of Tennessee - participated in a day-long negotiation with Senate Democrats, the UAW, and bondholders. Everyone made major concessions. Democrats gave up efficiency and emissions standards. UAW accepted major benefit cuts and agreed to reduce workers' wages. Bondholders signed off on a serious haircut. But when Senator Corker took the deal back to the Republican Conference, they argued for two hours and ultimately rejected it.
Why? Because they wanted the federal government to forcibly reduce the wages of American workers within the next 12 months.
Heard this morning that President Bush may still use TARP money to rescue the automakers. He reportedly doesn't want to end up as the next Hoover.