Members Spar Over McCains Role
Even as negotiations on a Wall Street rescue package appeared to be progressing, Senate leaders and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) continued to spar over whether the presidential candidate should have suspended his campaign to deal with turmoil in the financial markets.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) mocked McCains return to Washington as nothing more than a distraction from the delicate talks that were occurring without him, even as he insisted that the principles laid out by Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) must be in any package.
All he has done is stand in front of the cameras, Reid said of McCain, noting that he first called for the GOP nominee to take a stand on the bill earlier this week. We still dont know where he stands on the issues.
McCains campaign fired back in a statement: At a moment of crisis that threatened the economic security of American families, Washington played the blame game rather than work together to find a solution that would avert a collapse of financial markets without squandering hundreds of billions of taxpayers money to bailout bankers and brokers who bet their fortunes on unsafe lending practices.
McCain also said he would resume campaigning and attend tonights presidential debate.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the Senate GOPs chief negotiator on the bailout, Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), praised McCains and Obamas decisions to return to Washington during the debate on the financial market crisis.
Sen. McCain and Sen. Obamas coming back to Washington significantly moved the process along, Gregg said. I think that was constructive.