GOP House Mood ‘Grim Anger and Reluctant Willingness’ After Economic Briefing

By Jennifer Parker

Sep 23, 2008 1:37pm

ABC News’ Viviana Hurtado reports: House GOP sources tell ABC News a Tuesday morning briefing by top Treasury, Federal Reserve and White House officials at this morning’s House Republican Conference left them with "grim anger and reluctant willingness to go forward."

"We are angry that the SEC, the Fed, and Treasury did not warn us earlier. Still, we are extremely aware of the danger of not supporting the $700 billion bail out package, and in huge numbers, we will back the plan," one House Republican member who attended the meeting told ABC News.

Republican lawmakers attended the briefing that began at 9 a.m. this morning where senior officials from the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the National Economic Council warned that more erosion of confidence in the banking system would lead to further contraction of the economy.

GOP lawmakers were told that if they did not act soon, the impact to American families would be significant: there could be more job losses and savings could be put at risk.

The NEC official described Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox as “the best experts.” He urged Congress to “act now.”

But with this economic meltdown described by the NEC official as a problem a “long time in the making,” some GOP lawmakers are resentful of the pressure to fast track the White House backed rescue package.

“I get that the risk to the economy and families of doing nothing far outweighs backing the plan. But the plan has no guarantees, except trust in Bernanke and Paulson,” a Republican lawmaker told ABC News.

Click here for more on the administration’s proposed $700 billion economic rescue package under consideration by Congress.

ABC News’ Ann Compton contributed to this report.

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