House Banking Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) has spent the last few days appearing on television telling America how honorable and wonderful Henry Paulson is for proposing a bailout that sends billions of taxpayer dollars to Paulson's old friends at Goldman Sachs. I've tangled with Frank before, over his all-too-close relationship with Big Money - and now, even as banking industry lobbyists are publicly laughing at Democrats, Roll Call reports that Frank may be moving to quietly cut a secret bailout deal:
Democrats weren't immune from divisions as well. Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) reiterated his concern that House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was making a deal with the White House without Senate input.
"You can't go off on this one side doing something that the other side doesn't know about," Dodd said.
But when asked why he wasn't present in the room with Paulson and Frank, Dodd said it was because "of the nature of the institutions." Pressed further about why he didn't insist on being in the room, Dodd said, "We're not going to get into that."
Is this why lobbyists and George "19 percent" Bush are laughing at Democrats like Dodd? Are they laughing because one of the other Democratic leaders is busy working to help them sell America out? Frank's staffers deny that this is what's going on, despite Frank's fawning all over Paulson. I hope they are being truthful.
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