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McCain's Bailout Bid: Helping or Hurting?

By Theo Francis

Talks among key players ?both parties in Senate and House, as well

as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke —

broke off for the night a little after 10 p.m. without a deal, we’re told. Plans are to talk again in the morning. (Here’s our full story on the day’s many and downs on

One staffer says Dems fear House Republicans have been emboldened by McCain’s arrival and by suggestions that he might give their alternative to Paulson’s plan an airing — and that could stymie negotiations. With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reluctant to bring a measure to the floor without enough Republican votes — neither party wants to risk looking like it’s bailing out Wall Street alone — that could imperil a deal altogether. Stay tuned.

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