Obama, McCain Leave White House Without Deal on $700 Billion Bailout
After days of bipartisan negotiations and meetings today at the White House, the deal to bail out staggered investment banks may be dying amid partisan finger-pointing.
Republicans blamed Democrats. Democrats blamed Republicans. And a key Democrat even pointed an accusatory finger at Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., told Democratic colleagues that McCain's sudden heightened involvement in the negotiations has destroyed the chance of an agreement, sources told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
Frank compared McCain's involvement to "Richard Nixon blowing up the Vietnam peace talks in 1968."
A senior McCain adviser told ABC News' David Chalian, "It is clear that there is not yet an agreement, but we're working with all parties with the common goal of getting an agreement. When we have an agreement, we'll have a debate."
Other Democrats pointed fingers at House Republicans, who they said were reneging on matters they thought had been settled, such as on the issue of helping homeowners with foreclosures.
House Republicans are saying Democrats never included them in negotiations and were trying to jam the agreement's "principles" down their throats. And many are concerned about the U.S. government purchasing apparently toxic assets.
Sources tell ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson fears the deal is falling apart.
As Democrats met in the White House's Roosevelt Room after the meeting with Bush, Paulson told them, "Please don't blow this up," according to sources.
Sources say Frank was livid, saying, "Don't say that to us after all we've been through!"