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House Dems Suggest McCain Hampered Bailout Negotiations

Two key House Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, held a press conference this afternoon to discuss the status of the financial bailout bill.

Pelosi said that "great progress is being made" towards a deal, though she suggested that yesterday's bipartisan summit at the White House was not helpful.

"I would not include yesterday among the days that we've made progress," Pelosi said, suggesting that there was an "intervening event that set up back, took time, and now we're back on track."

The comment appeared to be a shot at GOP nominee John McCain, whose decision to suspend his campaign and return to Washington to help out with the deal, since reversed, was not welcomed by Democrats involved in the negotiations.

Frank was more direct.

Work can continue on the deal "now that Sen. McCain is safely in Mississippi" for the debate, he said.

Frank suggested he expected a deal to be reached by Sunday. He has criticized McCain's behavior this week, suggesting the GOP nominee's call to postpone tonight's debate was "the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys."

UPDATE: The Republican National Committee's Alex Conant responds: "In a moment of national crisis what the American people want and expect and deserve leaders who put politics aside like John McCain did this week. It's unfortunate that the Democratic leaders continue to put politics first and attack John McCain's leadership."

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