WASHINGTON (CNN) - A senior Democratic leadership aide tells CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has asked Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd and his staff to work this weekend to prepare several options on how to help auto companies, plans Democratic will consider first thing Monday morning.
The aide gave a highly optimistic timetable, given the deep divide among lawmakers about how, and whether, to help Detroit.
“Ideally, we would reach consensus on process and substance with our caucus and Senate Minority Mitch McConnell mid-day Monday,” said the aide, who said their goal would be to schedule any necessary votes no later than mid-week.
Democratic leaders were hoping to confer with Republicans about various ideas most lawmakers are reluctant to discuss publicly.
One option that several leading Democrats are talking about is having giving the government big role in restructuring the auto companies, either with an oversight board or an individual. Some Democrats have suggested a “car czar,” and others suggest the president putting the treasury secretary in charge.
Dodd and Reid are scheduled to hold a conference call this afternoon with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank.