House Passes Bailout Package

President expected to sign bill late Friday.

This week was bookend by the House voting on a $700 billion financial bailout plan. On Monday, they voted to not pass the bill, but after the Senate revised and passed the bill 74-25 on Wednesday, the House voted Friday afternoon to pass the legislation on a vote of 263-171.

Included in the legislation are several extensions of tax credits for energy, a patch for the alternative minimum tax, and language dealing with disaster aid. Also, the bill institutes a one-year, temporary increase of FDIC coverage from $100,000 to $250,000.

Preliminary numbers had 172 Democrats voting in favor of the bill while 62 opposed it; and 91 Republicans voted for it and 108 voted against it. Several members from both parties who voted against the bill on Monday switched their vote. House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., told reporters before the vote on Friday morning that three things have happened to change some Republican members' opposition to the bill since the House defeated the measure on Monday: more calls to their district offices in support of the bill; a clarification of SEC accounting rules; and the Senate additions, passed on Wednesday.

President Bush is expected to sign the bill late Friday and commended Congress on coming together on the legislation and acting boldly to prevent the crisis on Wall Street from becoming a crisis in communities across the country.

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