Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), the Senate Republicans' lead negotiator on the bailout bill, again called for the passage of the economic rescue package while knocking those who voted against it Monday in the House.

Gregg said that the $700 billion package "is not just an exercise in political ideology," a thinly veiled shot at conservatives who opposed the bill because of free-market principles.

Here's the full statement:
Obviously this vote has severe ramifications as we've already seen a dramatic decline in the markets, which undoubtedly will have significant effects on Main Street and the everyday lives of Americans. This effort to stabilize the markets is not just an exercise in political ideology, but a critical and responsible measure to stave off serious fiscal trouble. It is now time for both sides of the aisle, in both chambers of Congress, to recognize the need to act. We must work together and find a way to advance this necessary legislation so we can begin to restore confidence in our markets, repair our economy, and make sure that American families can feel assured that their savings are secure, and their ability to finance their homes, cars, and children's education is possible.


Speaking to reporters late Monday afternoon in the Senate, Gregg gave a spirited defense of the bipartisan plan, reports J. Taylor Rushing.

"Everybody pretty much got what they needed in order to make the package work the way they thought it should work," Gregg said. "It gave the Treasury Secretary the authorities he needed to get into the market and try to stabilize credit. It protected the taxpayer in an extraordinarily aggressive way