Administration Sort of Maybe Somewhat Optimistic About House Vote Today

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Photo: Getty Images/Everett Bogue

The House has tentatively scheduled voting on Round II of the bailout package for "midday" today. Paulson, Pelosi, and company have been working the phones in an attempt to change Monday's "nays" to "yeas," and Bush has reached out personally to several members of Congress. But only a handful seem to have come decidedly around, and making things more confusing is that some of the "sweeteners" added to the packages have caused some of Monday's "yea" voters to sour on it:

Several Republicans said they were contemplating withdrawing their support, including Rep. Spencer Bachus (Ala.), who was among the key negotiators on the bailout measure. Bachus yesterday joined a group of 23 Republicans who said they were angry that the Senate bill would extend four tax breaks that benefit special interests, including Puerto Rican rum makers and the manufacturers of children's wooden arrows.


'Cause in his day, children used to make their wooden arrows themselves. Kids today. What? No. The point is, it's possible that too many cooks ultimately have spoiled the broth. Yesterday Nancy Pelosi said that she would cancel today's vote rather than watch the measure fail again. "We're not going to take a bill to the floor that doesn't have the votes," she said, but added: "I'm optimistic that we will take a bill to the floor." Meanwhile, the White House is hedging against potential disappointment. "We feel somewhat optimistic that the bill has a good chance of passing," spokesman Tony Fratto said. Somewhat. Ask him again in another couple hours.

House Readies for Its Second Bailout Vote [WP]