Boehner to Pelosi: Let’s Negotiate

We quoted below the principles that House Republicans are trying to advance in connection with the financial bailout negotiations. This morning, Minority Leader John Boehner wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi that said, in part:

Madame Speaker:

… Over the last week, we have frequently discussed Secretary Paulson’s proposal, and I have repeatedly expressed the need for improvements on behalf of myself and my Republican colleagues. Our staffs have also been in regular contact. To that end, Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL) was tasked by House Republicans to engage in discussions with Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and report back to our Conference on the progress of those negotiations before a final deal could be made. Yet Chairman Frank and Chairman Dodd, on several occasions over the last several days, announced that a bipartisan deal was at hand even though the reservations about the underlying proposal I had expressed to you had not been addressed. Each time such announcements were made, or even rumored, I or my staff made it clear to media and to your staff that any such deal did not include House Republicans.

As we demonstrated at the beginning of this year when we crafted a timely agreement on the economic stimulus package, a bipartisan response to our nation’s priorities is never out of reach. And I believe the same holds true at this hour. House Republicans are prepared to stay in Washington to forge an agreement on a proposal that reflects the core free-market, pro-taxpayer principles of our Party.

With that in mind, earlier this week, with your knowledge, I directed our Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) to lead a working group of House Republicans to develop a package of ideas to move this process forward. His working group represented a broad cross-section of House Republicans – including both moderate and conservative members – and their goal was to develop ideas worthy of support on both sides of the aisle. We have discussed some of these ideas, and I would like to reiterate that I believe they should be given the consideration they deserve as our economic rescue discussions continue. A brief overview of the working group’s blueprint is included with this letter.

… I ask you and your Democratic colleagues to give the House Republican working group’s proposals serious consideration as this process moves forward. If such consideration is not given, a large majority of Republicans cannot – and will not – support Sec. Paulson’s plan. In the interest of the men and women we represent in Congress, I hope it does not come to that conclusion. I look forward to your timely response and to continuing our work together on an economic rescue package worthy of all of our support.

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