President Bush Pushes Bailout Plan; House Republicans Resist

"We don't need presidential politics in this. The two presidential aspirants are not members of the Banking Committee and never were," he said.

Reid said the Democrats were working towards a bipartisan deal, but laid the blame for the economic crisis on Republicans.

"I asked for [Sen. McCain] to take a stand on the issue. But all he has done is stand in front of the cameras. We still don't know where he stands on the issue," he said.

Aboard a plane on his way to the presidential debate Mississippi, Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama echoed the Senate majority leader, saying presidential politics should not play a role in the bailout negotiations.

"At this point, my strong sense is the best thing I can do is ... go to Mississippi and explain to the American people what is going on and what my plan is for this country for next four years," Obama said.

Democrats and Republicans were scheduled to get back to the bargaining table today, but the collapse of Thursday night's talks was so bitter it wasn't clear whether the House Republicans were even going to show up.

Democrats and Republicans both predicted that an agreement would be reached, but they were far apart when the talks fell apart about 10 p.m. Thursday. They blamed one another, particularly McCain and Obama, for the collapse.

On Friday morning, the White House said it was lowering its expectations that a deal could be struck by the end of the day.

Vice President Dick Cheney canceled his weekend plans to attend fundraisers in New Mexico and Wyoming in order to remain in Washington, deal with the crisis and -- if necessary -- break a tie in Congress if a deal is struck.

The breakdown in talks at the White House took place moments after the federal government ordered the shutdown of Washington Mutual, the nation's largest savings and loan bank and the latest casualty of the financial crisis.

Following a quick auction, JPMorgan Chase & Co. bought the bank's functional assets for $1.9 billion.

Dire Predictions: 'This Sucker Could Go Down'

Bush and Paulson have emphasized that it is urgent that an agreement to stabilize the credit markets be reached by Monday.

"If money's not loosened, this sucker could go down," Bush warned the negotiators Thursday, referring to the country's economy.

A desperate Paulson got down on one knee Thursday night to plead with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, "Please don't blow this up" after Republicans balked after a preliminary deal had been announced.

Pelosi responded that it was the House Republicans who were the problem, which Paulson acknowledged.

But a night's sleep did not seem to bring the two sides any closer together.

Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, told "Good Morning America," "I don't have a lot of confidence in the plan."

"This plan is flawed," arguing that it was not a "comprehensive plan that will work."

"They're jumping from one situation to the other, one crisis to another, which is sad," Shelby said, referring to Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. "I think we can do better."

When reminded that the Republicans were bucking a Republican president, Shelby replied, "The president will be gone in four months. I wish him well, but we're going to be here, and this is a heck of debt to put on the American people."

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