According to a senior House staffer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is likely to insist that any Wall Street bailout bill contain two specific items from the Democrats’ wish-list: limits on executive compensation, and a measure to protect homeowners by allowing mortgages to be renegotiated in bankruptcy proceedings.
Things may not go smoothly on those fronts, however. House Republicans have signaled their firm opposition to executive pay limits. And the Blue Dogs, a faction of fiscally conservative Democrats, may be “uncomfortable” with changing bankruptcy laws, said the staffer.
There are a number of Democratic proposals circulating right now aiming to attach strings to the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Wall Street package.
In the Senate, the draft legislation being offered by Banking Committee chair Chris Dodd appears, which would give the federal government an equity stake when it helps banks with debt, (and which Paul Krugman describes as “a big step in the right direction) appears to be the most prominent.
But in the House, things are a bit more chaotic. Rep. Barney Frank, who chairs the Financial Services committee, has circulated his own proposal, which is slightly closer to the Treasury Department’s own, though, like Dodd’s, it aims to limit executive pay.
Rep. Brad Sherman this afternoon released to TPMmuckraker an outline of his own plan, which goes further than either Dodd’s or Frank’s.
And an unlikely coalition of conservative deficit hawks and liberal populists may be taking shape to oppose any bailout at all.
Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for further information.