President Bush Pushes Bailout Plan; House Republicans Resist

President Bush and Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain pleaded with GOP members of the House to end their party rebellion and quickly approve a Wall Street bailout plan.

It remains to be seen whether the Republican Party's two top officials could persuade the House members to come up with a deal to support Bush's blueprint for a $700 billion economic rescue.

At a meeting scheduled for Friday afternoon on Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers failed to show up. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said the Republicans were a no-show due to a "miscommunication."

House Democrats said staff members from both parties, however, were working to finalize a bill they believed would be completed by the weekend.

Sources in the Senate told ABC News's George Stephanopoulos that a final vote on that bill would be "unlikely" until Wednesday of next week.

"The need is clear, the solution is being debated, and time is growing short," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Pelosi and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said it was important that any bill be the product of an agreement by members of both parties and from both houses, in order to ensure President Bush's approval and to prevent the bailout from becoming an issue in the presidential election.

Frank took a swipe at McCain, blaming him for Thursday's "setback."

"We're back on track now that McCain is in Mississippi," he said. "I'm convinced by Sunday we'll have an agreement."

Bush was the first to appeal to the Republican Party's balky members. In a brief appearance at the White House this morning, the president urged Congress to approve Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's economic bailout, following Thursday night's 11th -hour breakdown in talks.

"Anytime you've got a plan this big moving this quickly that requires legislative approval it creates challenges," Bush said.

"There are disagreements over aspects of the rescue plan, but there is no disagreement that something substantial must be done," he said.

"The legislative process is sometimes not very pretty, but we are going to get a package passed," Bush said. "We will rise to the occasion. Republicans and Democrats will come together and pass a substantial rescue plan."

McCain, who had threatened to skip tonight's presidential debate unless a deal was set, was even more blunt when he met with the Republican Party's leadership caucus this morning.

"We need a deal. We need a deal. We need a deal," he said according to a senior House leadership aide.

A short time later McCain's campaign said he would be heading to the debate in Oxford, Miss., and issued a statement suggesting that his opponents had used the crisis for political purposes.

"At a moment of crisis that threatened the economic security of American families, Washington played the blame game rather than work together to find a solution that would avert a collapse of financial markets," the statement said.

While there isn't a yet deal, "He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who Thursday blamed McCain for stalling the process, reiterated today that the politics of the presidential election should not interfere with negotiations.

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