Just breaking on MSNBC:

About 10:00 p.m. Thursday night, Barney Frank emerged from a Congressional meeting to announce that House Republicans had scuttled the negotiations over the financial bailout plan.

Following the ill-advised White House photo-op/meeting this afternoon, Congressional negotiators working on the financial bailout met this evening to restart the discussions. But according to Frank, House Republican Bachus handed the attendees a one page description of an alternative proposal — presumably the same one John Boehner and Senator McCain discussed at the White House meeting earlier today. But instead of staying to discuss the proposal, the representative left, claiming he had no authority to negotiate for his House principals, who did not attend. [Updated: More on the meeting here.]

So at this point, conservative House Republicans have essentially rejected their own President’s proposal, scuttled a week’s worth of bipartisan talks between the Administration and Congressional leadership, and simply dropped into the mix a proposal that, when introduced at the White House meeting earlier Thursday, was described as "unworkable" by Secretary Paulson. That proposal reportedly includes even more deregulation and further tax breaks to the financial sector, plus a prayer that Wall Street can rescue itself if the restraints are removed.

Okay, John McCain. You own this mess. You went to Washington to get a solution that didn’t require your help, after telling the nation repeatedly that this was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and that we had to solve it to save the economy. If the crisis worsens in the next few days — as in major banks failing — and you don’t get your crazies in line, you’ve just seized ownership of a possible financial meltdown.

First Iraq, now the economy. Country first.

Update: New poll says Americans can support a rescue plan, just not Bush’s.

photo by essjay



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

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