Congress is wary of the push to bail out Wall Street
Lawmakers are watching the stock market as an indicator of whether to buy Bush's plan.
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"The financial community should feel very good that on a bipartisan basis we are coming together to try and come up with something that is going to make a difference," he added. "That should hold them in abeyance for a while. But for us to do something tomorrow without getting more of the details on it, I think will cause the American people to wonder if we are really doing our work."
Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate warned that they would not move a bailout plan without significant Republican support.
"We're going to insist on as much oversight as possible. The president is not going to get a blank check," he added.
Had the market plunged more dramatically this week, the pressure on lawmakers to move quickly on this bill could have been more decisive, Congress watchers say.
"If the markets had dropped 500 points a day for five days, then Paulson's request that they act on this simple bill to give them unilateral authority might even have had a chance of success," says Norman Ornstein, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
"But clearly the degree to which there is an urgency to act immediately had an impact on how much you raise concerns," he added.
"Members care about this stuff, and [the Bush administration] is going to have to deal with it. You can't decide something on your own and assume it to happen," said Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) of Connecticut, who chairs the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
"[Members of Congress] recognize that we need to do something and are not just going to do anything," he adds. "Now the question is: Are we smart enough to put together a process here that allows us to come up with an answer that will satisfy the gravity of the situation, give [Paulson] the tools he needs, and protect the accountability questions and the taxpayer? I think we can."
"We're used to big numbers these days, but $700 billion was a shock," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R) of Arizona, after a session with Vice President Cheney and House Republicans over the bailout plan on Tuesday. "We were told to pass it in a week or else. But I think the vice president found it tough to make converts. There were a lot of skeptics in the room."