Financial Briefs

Breaking financial news from Wall Street to Main Street

White House meeting ends on sour note

Posted by financialbriefs on September 25, 2008

A high-profile White House meeting on Treasury’s $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan ended Thursday on a sour, contentious note, with no joint endorsement by the two presidential candidates, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

Democrats complained of being “blindsided” by a new conservative alternative to the plan first put forward by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. And the outcome casts doubt on the ability of Congress to move quickly on the matter, even after leaders of House and Senate banking committees reached a bipartisan agreement Thursday on the framework for legislation authorizing the massive government intervention.

It was McCain who urged President Bush to call the White House meeting attended by House and Senate leaders as well as Obama, his Democratic rival. But the candidates left without commenting to reporters outside, and the whole sequence of events confirmed Treasury’s fears about inserting presidential politics into what were already difficult negotiations.

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