Alex Wong/Getty Images
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) speaks to reporters after a White House meeting to discuss the administration's $700 billion financial bailout plan, Sept. 25, 2008. Shelby opposes the Bush administration's rescue proposal.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) speaks to reporters after a White House meeting to discuss the administration's $700 billion financial bailout plan, Sept. 25, 2008. Shelby opposes the Bush administration's rescue proposal. Alex Wong/Getty Images
In Washington, lawmakers negotiating the White House rescue plan for Wall Street go back to the drawing board Friday. Members of Congress thought they had a deal in place Thursday, but some House Republicans were unhappy with the package.
Early Thursday afternoon, lawmakers announced a tentative agreement on the principles of a $700 bailout, raising optimism that a deal was at hand.
But "things seemed to go very, very wrong" when congressional leaders met on the plan at the White House with President Bush and presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, NPR's Brian Naylor tells Steve Inskeep.
House Republicans objected, saying they couldn't go along with the bailout package.
"They've never been supportive of rescuing Wall Street with huge amounts of taxpayer dollars," Naylor notes. "House Republicans can't bring themselves, I think, philosophically to interfere with the free market."
Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) said, "Right now, I'm very down on it. I know there's a crisis here, but I voted against the Freddie Mac and the Fannie Mae proposal, too, was told then this is all we need."
Democrats were suspicious that McCain's involvement in the meeting was a staged photo op to help his presidential candidacy.
The Democrats hold a majority in both houses and could pass the measure without Republican support. But Democrats say the bailout is the Bush administration's proposal, and they don't want to be "left exposed to attacks that they carried this ... unpopular program by themselves," Naylor says.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, "This is a proposal from the administration. It's a Republican president and we will certainly lift our share of the load once we get the proposal that we agree with. But certainly the Republicans in the House should join in."
Negotiations were to resume Friday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said House Republican proposals would be considered, including an FDIC-type insurance program for the toxic assets that the bailout would address.