There are reports this afternoon that an agreement has been reached to bailout the auto industry. Even if this is true – that leaders in both parties have signed on – I’m told a vote would be very unlikely before Thanksgiving since there’s bound to be GOP senators that, barring an en masse drastic change of heart, would object to the leaders bringing the bill to the floor outside of regular order. Which means the measure would have to overcome a filibuster and a bunch of procedural votes before final passage. Harry Reid’s office is still looking over the deal to try and decide if they like it, and if they do the earliest I’m told the compromise could see a vote is next Wednesday. That said, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the GOP gets on board and holds their bomb-throwing members (ahem, DeMint, Coburn) at bay. Levin and the other negotiators are having a press conference at 2:00. And, keep in mind, the measure would still face an uphill battle in the House. Both chambers had been aiming to adjourn for the year this week.
Reid at a press conference right now said the compromise agreement wouldn’t garner enough votes to pass either chamber but they are giving the Big Three one last lifeline: if they can submit viable plans to restructure by Dec. 2, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank will review them. If the two Banking Committee chairmen approve the plans, Reid and Pelosi will consider reconvening both chambers the week of Dec. 8 to vote through a bailout package.