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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Biden on McCain's Bailout Proposal: "What’s Notable is What’s not in the Package"

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Senator Joe Biden said today in Pennsylvania that the biggest problem with John McCain’s proposal to the Wall Street Bailout, and what caught his eye, was what was missing from it.

“What’s notable is what’s not in the package. The silence on issues relating to the middle class is deafening in the package John’s put forward. There is no help for families struggling to stay in their homes. If John keeps changing his rhetoric, but not changing the worn-out philosophy that got us into this spot, if John continues to do that, ladies and gentlemen, why is John expecting us to believe he will be an agent of change? Look, that’s the reason we need change,” Biden told a crowd of about 1,000 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a town very close to his hometown of Scranton.

Biden went on to say, “Of all the important issues we face, all of them, all of them, John McCain has been profoundly out of touch because he’s been so in touch with President Bush’s position on those issues and nowhere, nowhere has that failed philosophy, that failed philosophy of the past eight years been more exposed than in the recent and immediate economic crisis we’re facing in this country.”

And some congressional Republicans are seeing Biden’s points, too. Alabama senator Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, who co-sponsored the Dodd-Shelby housing rescue bill back in July, told members of the press, shortly after leaving the financial bailout meeting with Senators Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and John McCain, “We will not have a deal.” He claims that the bill has not changed enough in the last 24 to 48 hours (and needs to be) and that it doesn’t meet the needs of homeowners, seniors, small businesses and taxpayers. “It will not solve problems, it will create more problems,” Shelby said.

Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who also attended the meeting, said Thursday that the meeting was contentious and blasted what he calls McCain’s inaction. “I’m not quite sure what John McCain said at the meeting. He said something [. . .] He had no indication he was for any particular plans. I don’t know where he is on all of this,” Dodd said.

Earlier in the day, congressional members said that a deal had been agreed upon, however, it looks like the debate over the financial bailout may spill over into next week.