Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson left a late-night session at the Capitol Thursday without a deal on the bailout plan the White House says is needed to prevent economic disaster.
Four of the five parties involved in the deal — House Democrats, Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans and the White House — had agreed to the general outlines of a plan, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said after the meeting ended.
That left one remaining obstacle: House Republicans.
Or maybe two.
Although John McCain hasn’t said whether he supports the bipartisan, bicameral compromise struck earlier in the day Thursday, one of his leading Senate surrogates – Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – said Thursday night that McCain joined House Republicans in opposing that proposal.
And what do these House Republicans think?
According to one GOP lawmaker, some House Republicans are saying privately that they’d rather “let the markets crash” than sign on to a massive bailout.
“For the sake of the altar of the free market system, do you accept a Great Depression?” the member asked.
And remember the whole thing BLEW UP only AFTER John McCain grandstanded and stuck himself into the middle of the process so he could get attention.