John McCain and Barack Obama met with President Bush and congressional leaders in Washington this afternoon to discuss the evolving bailout plan, the AP reports. With the candidates' help, “my hope is that we can reach an agreement very shortly,” Bush said. Key lawmakers said they had reached a tentative deal earlier today, but doubts remained. "I don't believe we have an agreement," said Sen. Richard Shelby, top Republican on the banking panel, after emerging from the White House meeting.
The in-progress deal would give $250 billion immediately to the Treasury to buy firms’ bad debt, with an option for the Treasury secretary to get another $100 billion if he makes a good case. The remaining $350 billion would be doled out at a later date assuming Congress had no objections.