February 10th, 2009
09:15 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Crunch Time

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/10/stimulus.next/art.s.c.gi.jpg caption="GOP Sens. Arlen Specter and Susan Collins say the final bill won't have their support if it is drastically different."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

It's a busy night on Capitol Hill. Just hours after the Senate approved its own economic stimulus plan, now comes the hard part. Negotiations are underway to somehow cut out major difference in the Senate and House bills and come up with a new one that will get approved by both chambers by this weekend.

This won't be easy. We're talking about different price tags, different priorities. The House tally is $819 billion. The Senate version costs $838 billion and provides more tax cuts.

Tonight we'll have the latest on the talks and break down the differences that need to be worked out.

Three GOP senators broke party lines to vote for the Senate plan – Sens. Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter. They warn if there are drastic changes to the bill they may not support the final version.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has unveiled the administration's latest plan to help America's banks. He's says those with assets of $100 billion or more will face a "stress test" to see if they can survive long-term economic hardship. He also said the government would direct more than $1 trill in public and private cash to help boost banks.

But investors were not impressed. The Dow fell 381. The S&P shed 43 points and the Nasdaq lost 67.

Do you think these plans will help boost the economy?
Share your thoughts below.

We'll have these stories and more starting at 10pm ET.

See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (14 Responses)

    GO AHEAD Keep giving the banks all that that bailout money, they will continue to have their meetings at such places as Venetian Las Vegas, in the meantime we'll all continue to lose our homes and lives, go ahead...

    February 11, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  2. jarrod

    i don't think investor's should be aloud to but these forclosed homes they should go to the people who are able to buy thm to LIVE IN Not cash in

    February 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  3. Joey

    Stop giving our tax dollars to the banks. Banks invest our money that we deposit and give out interest to the account holders right? If you invest your money as a person or a company and things don't work out who should you blame? Blame yourself. The banks are no differant, they made a lot of bad investments and now they should have to sleep in the bed they made.

    February 11, 2009 at 5:43 am |
  4. JQQ -Brea California

    Take a good look at the old people that have been in the House to long.

    I could not believe what Reid said today about, in the past the Republicans having private meetings without Democrats.


    February 11, 2009 at 5:22 am |
  5. Daniel P. Feldman


    I'm not sure this the right place to put this but here it goes. While watching your show tonight, I saw something very interesting during the coverage of Obama.'s townhall meeting in Fl. When Barack approached the black woman to console her and give what looked like a kiss, there was a woman in a white outfit that mouthed "I LOVE YOU, BARACK". I was thrilled to see how he bonded with audience.

    February 11, 2009 at 2:08 am |

    As you just reported, if 2/3 of US economy is consumer spending, then why are the stimulis packages not 2/3 tax rebates going directly to the tax payers. If you gave me a decent amount of money, i would put it in the bank, pay my mortgage, pay off high interest debt, keep my business afloat, keeping my employee's hired. It seems to me to be what really should be done.
    Sincerely Mark in Ca.

    February 11, 2009 at 1:27 am |
  7. sherry, northern Calif.

    No wonder stocks are fell. DUH?Timmy has his plate full of TEN long years of Banks selling securities (that were not secure) and using our deposits and having the freedom to invest money wherever. Banks own investment companies so it makes matters worse in finding the toxic assets. So America we are in debt for 10 trillion-not 870 billion. When Tim is done I am sure it will knock our socks off if he finds all the debt we owe from these banks and investment firms. A forensic accountant seems to be the best job one could get these days anywere, in the country or world! Glad I am not Timmy or Arnie. Consumers do not have any trust left so why should they invest or spend?

    February 11, 2009 at 12:10 am |
  8. Derek

    Why do we need to create some kind of public-private vessel to hold all the toxic assets? Something like that already exists–mostly in the private sector. It's called Bank Of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, etc. They bought these toxic assets, let them deal with it. Instead of throwing money at them to try to make them solvent, why not just use that money to open one or two brand spanking new FDIC insured banks–with zero toxic assets. This new bank can use the second half of the TARP money to do what BofA and Citigroup and all the old banks have not been willing to do–start making loans to grease the wheels of the economy. It will have to follow sound lending practices, but if it can do that, which isn't hard, who needs the old banks anymore? If the old banks can't find a way to deal with their toxic assets, they will fail, and rightly so. When they do fail, the market will then take care of the toxic assets when they get liquidated. The bold and the clever can make a thriving business of it. Any fool who pays too much for a batch of toxic assets can lose his shirt. Capitalism can make a comeback. If they intend to spend another $trillion to shore up the financial system, can't you start enough new banks with that $trillion to essentially bypass all the old banks that are wallowing in their own toxic assets and bad decisions? Just a thought.

    February 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  9. RANDY

    Were going to need a miracle

    February 10, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  10. Bob Drake

    OPEN CREDIT? Pres. O announces that if banks do not lend $X billion by Y date, people can borrow directly from the gvt. Credit will be flowing before you finish reading this on air.

    Bob Drake

    February 10, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  11. R.on , West Coast

    Except for the three republican senators , Arlen Specter , Olympia Snowe , and Susan Collins , all pay and perks , such as medical , dental , access to automobiles and drivers , and anything else recieved from tax payer dollars , should be halted immediatley for the republican senators who voted against the recovery package today. The three senators who did vote , voted for the american citizens who have lost their jobs , and about to lose their homes . The members of the house also republicans , should also lose their pay . Those clowns forgot what they were sent there to do . They were sent there to SERVE all americans , I don`t care what party affiliation they are , when america is in crisis , we are all of one party , THAT IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA`S PARTY !!!!!

    February 10, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  12. Dominick, Long Island

    Does this administration have a clue about what is going on in this economy...Geithner's speech in Congress scared me...and the market...clueless in DC!

    February 10, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  13. Eve

    Capitals are meant for emphasis, not shouting.

    There are willing buyers out there (most likely foreign investors and Buffet types) who want rock bottom prices for these toxic mortgage-backed securities. Right now banks are INTENTIONALLY holding these over-priced securities and refusing to extend credit in order to shore up their balance sheets. They used the money Paulsen gave them as a savings account/nest egg. They probably have enough cash on hand to survive and aren’t motivated to offer credit and accept restrictions from government intervention.

    Wall Street investors were expecting the Treasury to suspend "marked to market" and buy their toxic assets at a price more profitable to the bank and its stock holders. Taxpayers would then absorb their losses; then we would REALLY be mad. Instead, Geithner announced that they would be AUDITED to determine whether they have any realistic hope of becoming solvent again and make that information PUBLIC. The audit will also expose any absurd risk-taking and identify banks that do not deserve any assistance. Insolvent banks will likely be dissolved like Lehman Brothers. News of these accountability and transparency measures launched a massive investor sell-out and will jeopardize the bank’s cash reserves. Soon they will be forced to sell their mortgage back securities at much lower prices. Geithner is essentially backing them into a corner. Private investors will buy them and the Treasury will insure their investments. As the housing market stabilizes, the taxpayers will get their money back before investors can cash their profits.

    Geithner is essentially acting in the public’s interest by forcing banking stocks to bottom out and force them out of their complacency. In essence, Geithner announced that he will NOT bailout the banks!

    In the meantime, the Treasury will offer consumer credit and enable bankruptcy courts to restructure mortgages until balance and transparency is restored to the banking system.

    February 10, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  14. Annie Kate

    I have no idea if the new plans will work. I'm hoping for good explanations tonight so I can decide what I think. Right now I'm hoping it will work.

    February 10, 2009 at 9:43 pm |