Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) has credited Republican leadership and the leadership of Sen. John McCain, who said he had suspended his campaign, but was giving interviews and announced that he plans to attend tonight's presidential debate, with helping to push a deal through. This would fly in the face of what Congress was saying earlier today and earlier in the week.
President Bush made a very short, to-the-point statement on the White House lawn at 9:35 this morning. Excerpted from that statement:
"There are disagreements over aspects of the rescue plan, but there is not disagreement that something substantial must be done."
"The legislative process is sometimes not very pretty. But we are going to get a package passed. We will rise to the occasion, Republicans and Democrats will come together and pass a substantial rescue plan."
This morning, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is blaming House Republicans for an "internal GOP ideological civil war" that is delaying the bailout:
The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee declared Friday that an agreement on legislation to relieve a spreading financial crisis depends on House Republicans "dropping this revolt" against President Bush.
Rep. Barney Frank said leading Democrats on Capitol Hill were shocked by the level of divisiveness that surfaced at a White House meeting Thursday, not long after key congressional players of both parties declared they'd achieved the broad outlines of an agreement on a bill implementing the administration's proposed $700 billion bailout plan.
Frank said he did not think that Democrats were going to see a substantially different proposal from the plan the administration has been trying to sell to lawmakers and which had been the focal point of closed-door talks for days. He called the rival proposal being pushed by House conservative Republicans "an ambush plan."
At least a few Republicans have publicly expressed their opposition to the plan:
Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican who appeared on the same show, said many GOP lawmakers dislike the proposal that has been pushed on the administration's behalf principally by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
"Basically, I believe the Paulson proposal is badly structured," Shelby said. "It does nothing basically for the stressed mortgage payer. It does a lot for three or four or five banks . ... "
The political infighting happened even as Washington Mutual Inc., one of the country's largest banks, collapsed under the weight of its bad bets on the mortgage market. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized WaMu on Thursday, and then sold the thrift's banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion.
In either case, the tone from Rep. Frank, from the folks on CNBC and from the op-ed pages is urgent, and often angry. It's becoming clear that the one thing people agree on is that a deal should get done soon and that not everybody's going to like it.