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Boehner to Dodd and Co.: 'Um, No Deal Yet'

3:07 PM, Sep 25, 2008 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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In the wrestling match for credit, Dodd and Barney Frank got out in front this morning, declaring a deal on basic principles for a bailout before McCain's and Obama's meeting with President Bush, and overselling the extent of the agreement somewhat in the process:

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he was happy to attend this afternoon's White House meeting, which is expected to include presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), but he said there was little need for it now.
"I'm glad we'll be able to go and tell them that there's really not much of a deadlock [in Congress] to break," Frank said.

John Boehner hastened to remind them about House conservatives, at whom McCain will have to be aiming a bunch of his negotiating power. Pelosi had hinted that she would not have her Democrats backing the Administration's bailout plan without Republican support. McCain met with Boehner this morning and is set to meet with Bush and Obama today at 4 p.m.

"As I told our Conference this morning, there is no bipartisan deal at this time," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. "There may be a deal among some Democrats, but House Republicans are not a part of it."

Meanwhile, Harry Reid, who can nearly always be counted upon to make the wrong political move just when you need him to, is doing anything but putting country first in the tussle on the Hill.

He has vowed not to schedule any votes for Friday so that John McCain has "no excuse" for missing the debate Friday. This move assumes wrongly that McCain's main purpose in coming to the Hill was simply to vote when his purpose has been to help lead a coalition to an acceptable deal and also makes the scheduling of votes at a very critical time contingent upon a purely political consideration for the Democrats.

He's also reportedly trying to tack an extension of the ban on oil shale development on to the CR appropriations bill despite Dems having previously relented on extending such bans. Nice priorities, huh?