If this Wall Street bailout deal is to be approved on Monday in the U.S. House, it seems likely that Democrats will be providing crucial votes to give President Bush and his Administration the fast action they requested.
While more conservative Republicans have been huffing and puffing for days about their opposition to this plan, leading Democrats have been at the forefront of the negotiations in the Congress.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have kept up steady drumbeat of pressure to reach a deal, and then to find a way to approve it.
Reid has the much easier job, as the Senate is a much calmer body when it comes to issues like this. The House – as it was developed by the Framers of the Constitution – is much closer to the people, and more excitable.
Don’t get me wrong though, there are a lot of more liberal Democrats who want no part of this deal, and have been just as vocal as Republicans opposed to it.
On Sunday afternoon, the one minute speeches at the start of the session were divided almost evenly between liberals who opposed the bailout and conservatives who also vowed to vote no.
“The $700 billion bailout for Wall Street is being driven by fear and not fact,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
“This is too much money going to too few people in too short a time,” Kucinich thundered on the floor.
Remember, for every liberal like Kucinich, the President will need to make sure he can bring along a Republican vote to offset the Democrats who will vote no.
This really reminds me of back in 1993, when President Bill Clinton wanted to get approval for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA.)
Many Democrats were dead set against it, and Clinton had to ask for help from House Republicans, who delivered.
132 GOP members voted for NAFTA that day, while 43 voted no. The Democrats were 102 for it to 156 against.
We may get the exact opposite of that NAFTA vote today, with Democrats in the House helping a Republican President.