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No breakthrough on US bailout plan
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A top-level White House meeting aimed to reach consensus on a proposed 700-billion-US-dollar financial bailout plan failed to make breakthrough Thursday.

"The deal is not finalized ... There's a commitment to get something done. And nobody is happy about it," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Traders gather at the Bank of America kiosk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, September 24, 2008. [Xinhua/Reuters Photo]  

The meeting, attended by President George W. Bush, as well as presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, took place after lawmakers agreed on the plan in principal in the Congress.

But the failure to reach agreement between the White House and Congress left uncertainties over the plan and raised political stakes for all parties involved.

"There never was a deal. But I do believe the meeting was important to move the process along," McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, told ABC News after the meeting.

There is also an ongoing political drama being played out on the bailout plan and the planned presidential debate Friday.

McCain announced Wednesday he would suspend his campaign to focus on the solution for the financial turmoil and also proposed to delay his first debate with Obama, but Obama said he will go ahead.

US President George W. Bush (L) makes remarks during a meeting with members of congress including the Presidential candidates Republican John McCain and Barack Obama (R) in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC. [Agencies] 

McCain's aides accused Obama of putting himself before the country by sticking to the debate schedule.

But Obama and other Democrats said McCain tried to play a political game and his involvement in the bailout plan hasn't been helpful so far.

Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, reaffirmed Thursday that he will go to the debate venue in Oxford, Mississippi, Friday.

McCain still leaves his options open.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2008)

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