But after the [White House] meeting broke up about an hour later, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Ala.), who strongly opposes the bailout, told reporters, "I don't believe we have an agreement."...
Sens. McCain (Ariz.) and Obama (Ill.) left the White House after the meeting without speaking to reporters.
A visibly irritated Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, later said on CNN that the meeting was thrown off when Republicans brought up "some new core agreement" that supposedly had been floated by McCain and was being considered by the Treasury Department.
"What this looked like to me was a rescue plan for John McCain," Dodd fumed. "This is a sad day for the country." He said he still hopes that a deal can be struck but that the Republicans "need to get their act together and decide what they're for."
But here's the scoop from Marc Ambinder:
Though Sen. Chris Dodd implied that Sen. McCain sandbagged the rest of the negotiators by bringing up alternative proposals, McCain himself did not bring up those proposals, according to four independent sources briefed by four different principals inside the meeting, including two Republicans and two Democrats.
"McCain has not attacked the Paulson deal," said a third Republican who was briefed by McCain direclty. "Unlike the [Democrats] in the [White House] meeting, he didn't raise his voice or cause a ruckus. He is urging all sides to come together."
Republicans like John Boehner brought up the concerns of House GOPers and McCain acknowledged hearing about their concerns. And McCain, and staffers, did seek to gauge the level of support of the GOP working group's white paper. The Democrats were left with the impression that McCain endorsed the GOP efforts, but they concede that he did not raise them directly.