White House meeting on Bush + Reid + Pelosi + Frank + Obama + McCain bailout ends in disarray as House R's balk. [09/25/2008]
Via McClatchy. (Let me say that McClatchy blames McCain's grandstanding in the headline, which let us remember that editors write, but the story makes clear that (a) all the blame is being cast by Dems, big surprise, and (2) it's the House Republicans who are really the cause of the trouble, because they don't buy into the famous "principals." I mean, these are the guys who kept the House open to do some political theatre for drilling even after Pelosi turned off the cameras and the lights, and Pelosi ultimately caved, so why on earth would they give in now? To help Bush? To help McCain? Haw.)
"That agreement is obviously no agreement," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., as he emerged from the White House meeting.
The lawmakers spoke after spending an hour in what was supposed to be a somber show of bipartisan unity at the White House.
Haw. No kabuki for you!
The session, hosted by President Bush and featuring the two presidential candidates as well as House and Senate leaders, came hours after the Democratic and Republican negotiators had issued a one-page "agreement on principles."
After the House Republican rebellion at the White House cast doubt on the agreement's fate, negotiators reconvened Thursday night, hoping once again to find common ground. But they were uncertain how to handle the Republican alternative, whose chief feature would permit the government to provide insurance to firms to buy troubled assets rather than spend taxpayer money on them.
"We feel it is best to resort to private capital first," said Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who led the effort. Taxpayers "should not have to pay to bail out Wall Street."
Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Banking Committee, sat in on the negotiations Thursday and said he was not sure that House GOP members would embrace the package, though, "I think we're closer."
Also complicating final agreement was the presidential campaign. McCain said that he's suspending his campaign to help draft bipartisan legislation, and Obama's camp boasted that he'd played an important role in the executive pay negotiation.
But Banking Committee staff said that while Obama's staff stayed in touch with negotiators, the senator had no apparent role in brokering any deal.
Haw. Both Obama and McCain were as useless as tits on a bull for this whole charade. Quelle surprise.
Our representatives really do need to come home to the district and do some serious listening before doing anything. And they especially don't need to draft and pass legislation throwing a trillion dollars at Hank Paulson's golfing buddies in less than a day. Shit, at least they took a few weeks to cave on AUMF!
So, the House Republicans are definitely doing the Lord's work, here. More power to them. If only outcomes matter, than stopping this bill is good.
UPDATE The Times, in late reporting, describes the White House meeting as a verbal brawl. Exciting!
The day began with an agreement that Washington hoped would end the financial crisis that has gripped the nation. It dissolved into a verbal brawl in the Cabinet Room of the White House, urgent warnings from the president and pleas from a Treasury secretary who knelt before the House speaker and appealed for her support.
“If money isn’t loosened up [a trillion? That's a lot of loosening!], this sucker could go down,” President Bush declared Thursday as he watched the $700 billion bailout package fall apart before his eyes, according to one person in the room.
Heh. Apparently, Hank "Sucker" Paulson is going down!
Meanwhile, Bush is still at square one, the only way he knows how to "negotiate":
Mr. Bush was holding fast to the approach that Mr. Paulson has championed. “In case there’s any confusion,” Mr. Fratto, the deputy press secretary, wrote in an email message. “The president supports the core of Secretary Paulson’s plan.”
Good. Let the thing die. If we have to take a hit, let's take it now.