How the Bailout Talks Broke Down

Partisanship, an alternative plan undercut consensus
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 26, 2008 7:00 AM CDT
President Bush, fourth from right, meets with congressional leaders, including the presidential nominees, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, in Washington to discuss the...   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Hopes were high yesterday morning that a deal was imminent for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s bailout plan, but a surprise GOP revolt at a tense summit with Bush and the presidential candidates scuttled the agreement, and plunged the capital into partisan bickering last night, the New York Times reports. The extraordinary meeting ended in disarray, with  Paulson literally kneeling to beg House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to "blow it up."

“It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans,” Pelosi told him. Fingers were pointed in both directions as Dems accused the GOP of stalling for McCain's benefit, and the GOP accused Dems of rushing the deal to undermine their candidate. Dems could pass the bill alone, but say they won't, since such a move could be costly during election season. “If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down,” Bush is said to have remarked as he watched the deal fall apart.