The more Congress examines the Bush administration's bailout plan, the hazier its outcome gets. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle complained of being rushed to pass legislation or else risk financial meltdown.
"The secretary and the administration need to know that what they have sent to us is not acceptable," says Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn. The committee's top Republican, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, says he's concerned about its cost and whether it will even work.
In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.
"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."
Dodd says that in speaking with his Senate colleagues, all are agreed on three issues: that a bailout bill include some oversight accountability for the Treasury, protection for taxpayers and that it address the continuing foreclosure problem.
He also points to one other concern: Paulson, the bill's chief architect, is scheduled to leave office in just four months.
"I'm not about to give a $700 billion appropriation to a secretary I don't know yet," says Dodd.
and there are no guarantees this is going to work folks. none. This is a huge redistribution of our tax dollars to the richest corporations in the world. I say fuck um. force them to renegotiate their loans so people can make payments and stay in their homes. Bad News For The Bailout - Forbes.com