Politics as usual or a stalling technique so McCain won’t have to debate? We report, you decide!

From Bloomberg:

Republicans splintered over the proposed $700 billion rescue of the U.S. financial system, imperiling an agreement hours after a bipartisan group of negotiators and the White House said one was near.

Lawmakers were meeting again today in Washington after some House Republicans, led by Virginia’s Eric Cantor, said they wouldn’t back a plan based on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson‘s approach. A top Senate Republican said he is willing to delay any bailout package, and let markets open next week without a relief package in place.

“We need to get back to the drawing board,” Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said in an interview. “We need to consider this in a deliberate, linear fashion.”

A nice idea—if we had time—but, unfortunately, we don’t.

The stalemate came after an unprecedented meeting at the White House with President George W. Bush, presidential nominees Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, congressional leaders and Cabinet officers.

The setback unnerved investors, coming after the government closed Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. savings-and-loan institution. Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index futures declined 1.3 per cent in European trading and the yield on the two-year Treasury note fell 12 basis points to 2.04 per cent, just above the Federal Reserve’s target rate.

Keep those setbacks coming!

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