Dana Bash | BIO
CNN Congressional Correspondent
If we had a dime for every optimistic word we hear about compromise for Detroit, we may be able to make enough money to bailout the auto industry ourselves.
"In concept, it's together" House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters as he rushed into an all day summit on the economy.
House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank declared there will be "agreement today, absolutely.”
"I think we're very, very close to having something we can bring before the body sometime today," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said as he opened the Senate floor this morning.
At 10:30am he even said he thought there could be agreement "within an hour or so."
Now, part of the art of compromise on Capitol Hill is, and always has been, mastering the art of posturing. Public expressions of good will and optimism are designed to move things along in private.
But, Republican leaders are still trying to recover politically from rushing through the Wall Street rescue. They're wary of another drive-by bailout for the auto industry.
In fact, Sen. Mitch McConnell was on the Senate floor this morning trying to tap the brakes on an auto bailout.
"There are times when help is needed but one thing most people expect when they are asked for help is that the one asking makes a commitment to change," said McConnell.
"This proposal does not go nearly far enough. It holds neither management nor labor truly accountable."
The White House has the same concerns, and they had staff working with congressional Democratic aides late last night and early this morning trying to work them out.
The big question when they finally come out of the room and declare the deal done, whether there will be enough votes to pass a Senate that is still split along party lines, and suffering from a big case of bailout fatigue.
But it’s hard to imagine Senate leaders bringing this to the floor unless they know they have the votes. They are still smarting from the precipitous stock plunge they caused after initially failing to pass a financial bailout this fall.
Reid was almost giddy about the positive effect their negotiations had yesterday.
"The mere fact that we were trying to work something out yesterday caused the stock market to go up nearly 300 points," he said.
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