Congressional leaders and Bush administration officials are close to a deal on a $700 billion rescue plan with greater protections for taxpayers and new assistance for distressed homeowners. But McCain is floundering and needs the President to help him pull off his peculiar political stunt. So now, at McCain's request, Bush is taking the parties away from their work on a package they have effectively already agreed to for a meeting after-the-fact at the White House.
Rep. Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and point-person in negotiations with Treasury Secretary Paulson, called the meeting an unneeded distraction.
(Crossposted from Our Republic)
"We're going to have to interrupt a negotiating session tomorrow between the Democrats and Republicans on a bill where I think we are getting pretty close, and troop down to the White House for their photo op," he said. "I wish they'd checked with us."
Indeed, one would think the "country first" candidate would have checked with those having actual responsibility for moving the deal forward. But he didn't. So the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression is just going to have to wait. McCain needs his photo op.