Moran: We had Votes Before White House Meeting

Blaming Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) said Tuesday that there were enough votes to pass the $700-billion bailout before the White House meeting last week with congressional leaders and presidential candidates.

Moran's comments, made during an interview on WTTG-Fox 5 Tuesday morning, run contrary to remarks made by both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Moran said "up to that point [of the White House meeting], we had the votes," adding that McCain injecting presidential politics was partly to blame for the collapse of the House bill on Monday.

But many lawmakers and aides say that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's initial plan had little support among House Republicans and has been criticized by Democratic leaders.

Democratic leaders have acknowledged they didn't have enough support on their side of the aisle and needed significant GOP support to pass the controversial bill. Striking the deal over the weekend, which was endorsed by House GOP leaders, convinced dozens of Republicans to back the bill.

Moran, who backed the compromise legislation on Monday, said he was surprised that 60 percent of House Democrats voted for what he called a "Bush-Cheney bill." Even though it was difficult to back the bill, Moran said it was the "right thing" to do.

Moran said, "The Congress failed the nation."

-Bob Cusack

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