Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
The Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans, and House Democrats spent the week negotiating with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the White House. Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans announced this morning that they had agreed on key principles. In a White House meeting this afternoon with all parties, including Barack Obama and John McCain, House Republicans hijacked the process by submitting an entirely new plan that no one had seen before. John McCain hasn't made his position clear, but has reportedly been huddling with House Republicans and places his sympathies with their plan, which can be found here.
It actually says, "Instead of injecting taxpayer capital into the market to produce liquidity, private capital can be drawn into the market by removing regulatory and tax barriers that are currently blocking private capital formation." That is, more deregulation.
While Democrats and Republicans are fighting about whether or not House Republicans stalled the bailout's progress so John McCain could be seen as a key player in a solution tomorrow or over the weekend, no one seems to be disputing that House Republicans are the reason a week's worth of work is in jeopardy. Here's an ABC report of a frantic Paulson after the unsuccessful White House meeting:
Paulson walked into the room where Democrats were caucusing after today's meeting at the White House and pleaded with them, "Please don't blow this up."
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chair of the House Financial Services Committee was livid saying, "Don't say that to us after all we've been through!"
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "We're not the ones trying to blow this up; it's the House Republicans."
"I know, I know," Paulson replied.