from MNI 2008 Sep 25 at 21:43 ET: TARP: Talks Go On; Opposition Building from House Republicans By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON (MNI) - The rescue bill aimed to refuel the financial system stalled Thursday following the emergency White House meeting among congressional leaders with President Bush and the two presidential candidates vying to succeed him. To jumpstart negotiations, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke responded to calls from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader, and agreed to meet on Capitol Hill late at night and speed up the deal making process. As the intense days of talks continued on the $700 billion plan presented by Paulson to Congress, the tentative legislative deal in response was slowed by House Republicans Thursday afternoon when they circulated alternatives ahead of the White House meeting. Prior to the session, hopes had been high lawmakers had an agreement to confront the credit crisis and quicken economic recovery. "We were surprised that Republicans have indicated right before we went into the meeting (at the White House) that they had another suggestion," Reid said during a news conference with reporters late Thursday night. "If we get support from House Republicans this could be done in a matter of days," Reid said. The sticking points from House Republicans have not been laid out specifically, yet House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank said they dealt with the government providing insurance to beleaguered financial firms. Frank was slated to join Paulson, Bernanke and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders, in addition to his Democratic House colleagues, to focus on a final accord. "We are going to see if we can put this train back on the tracks," Reid said prior to heading into more rounds of negotiating sessions. A Treasury spokeswoman said Secretary Paulson said:"Treasury staff has been working with congressional committee staff since Saturday. There are still open issues to be resolved, and we are committed to resolving them." Sen. Reid said a broad agreement on the financial rescue bill was further complicated by Sen.McCain suspending his campaign to become involved in the talks centered on giving the Treasury unprecedented power purchase illiquid assets of troubled firms. "We all agree that we don't want presidential politics to destroy the leads that have been made," Reid said. "John McCain did nothing to help, he only hurt the process." A principal player in the crafting of a final bill, Sen. Dodd said there are issues still on the drafting board, including: how to insure taxpayers are protected, whether to limit executive compensation of firms whose unmarketable assets are absorbed by the government, how to implement strict oversight by federal regulators, and how to insert anti-foreclosure measures. Earlier in the day, he had said there was an agreement in principle on the $700 billion rescue package. "This problem has gone far beyond lower Manhattan, the contagion is being felt all across the country," Dodd said. "We don't have the luxury of waiting a long time to debate and discuss all this." Speaking to reporters prior to the meeting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "Congress intends to act" in order to stabilize the markets and protect Main Street. She said lawmakers are "not there yet," although she added "time is of the essence." House Financial Services Chair Frank said he opposes the GOP proposal floating in his lower chamber to provide insurance to troubled firms instead of allowing Treasury to purchase their unmarketable assets, although the specifics are still vague. "I was fairly optimistic earlier," Frank told reporters. "We don't know what House Republicans are going to do, I don't think Treasury Secretary Paulson knows, or the White House, and that's the dilemma." House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said negotiations will move forward without a deadline for arriving at a deal and promised lawmakers "will be here as long as necessary" to work in Washington on the $700 billion measure. He said if a plan is "going to pass, it needs to be bipartisan." When Senator Richard Shelby emerged from the White House meeting earlier he said there was "no agreement" at this juncture. The highest ranking Republican on the Senate's banking committee, his comments did not jibe with the more optimistic remarks of the chairman of the committee, Dodd. "We came out of the White House meeting with no agreement," Senator Richard Shelby told reporters following the session.