The White House today is drumming up extraordinary pressure on Congress to approve its plan to enact a $700 billion mortgage bailout fund, suggesting the markets cannot wait much longer and dispatching Vice President Cheney and other top officials up Pennsylvania Avenue to jawbone lawmakers.
Cheney, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and presidential adviser Ed Gillespie are meeting this morning with House Republican conservatives, where a rebellion is brewing against the size and questionable free market credentials of the administration proposal.
Cheney will later gather with GOP Senators at the regular Tuesday lunch. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who collaborated in drawing up the proposal, are testifying this morning on Capitol Hill in an effort to defend their handiwork.
But Bush himself continues to do little to explain his plan, and he has refused to be questioned about it.