Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), one of the lead Republican negotiators for the $700 billion bailout bill, acknowledged that the measure won't help lawmakers politically.

"This is a tough vote," Gregg said on CNBC Monday. "There's no upside to casting this vote politically. People who cast this vote are going to know they did the right thing. They're going to know they backed us away from a precipice."

He said he also understood that some lawmakers are "wrapped around the ideological issue" of spending billions of taxpayer money for Wall Street.

You know, some people are wrapped around the ideological issue, which is a purity position. And, you know, I guess you can understand that.

"But you ought to be realistic, too," he said. "We are facing a calamity of incalculable magnitude. I mean, Alan Greenspan says this is a hundred-year event. Warren Buffet says he's never seen anything like it. And people who know the situation say that this is going to have a devastating effect on just ordinary Americans."

Gregg added: "You know, you can always cast the no vote and hope it passes, and then you get the perfect world, I suppose. But that's not our job. We're supposed to step up when there's a tough issue, make a -- make a tough decision and go forward."