Earlier this morning, President Bush addressed other lawmakers and the American public, expressing his disappointment that the $700 billion bailout plan for financial institutions failed to pass yesterday and his desire for Congress to pass the package to help the markets (he did acknowledged that "producing legislation is complicated" and "contentious"):

I recognize this is a difficult vote for members of Congress. Many of them don't like the fact that our economy has reached this point, and I understand that. But the reality is that we are in an urgent situation, and the consequences will grow worse each day if we do not act. The dramatic drop in the stock market that we saw yesterday will have a direct impact on the retirement accounts, pension funds, and personal savings of millions of our citizens. And if our nation continues on this course, the economic damage will be painful and lasting.

And I know many Americans are especially worried about the cost of the legislation. The bill the House considered yesterday commits up to 700 billion taxpayer dollars to purchase troubled assets from banks and other financial institutions. That, no question, is a large amount of money. We're also dealing with a large problem. But to put that in perspective, the drop in the stock market yesterday represented more than a trillion dollars in losses.

He also added that the "nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget expect that the legislation considered would ultimately cost the taxpayer far less than the $700 billion," because many assets the government would take over would recover and could be sold.

2008_09_trader1.jpgThe stock market is up, with the Dow Jones about 300 points now (+3%). Jeffries chief market analyst Arthur Hogan told Reuters, "There's an overarching belief that at some point this week, whether it's Wednesday or Thursday, we'll get something passed by the House."

Senate leaders from both parties pledged their support for the packagel Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said, "I will continue doing everything possible to see that this dire and avoidable financial crisis has the best possible outcome," while Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said, "We will get the job done. We will get it done this week. Hopefully, that will reassure the American people that Congress can rise to the occasion, act like grown-ups, if you will, and get the job done for all of our people.”

And Senator Hillary Clinton, in a phone call with reporters, supports the idea of the Senate voting on the bill (if there are enough votes) first, and suggested the negotiators "maybe cool off a little from the emotion and the pressure of the last two weeks and get back to Washington starting tomorrow and do what we have to do to try to stabilize not only our nation but the entire world."