Congress Passes Bailout Bill! George Bush Signs Into Law!

Update: President George Bush has signed the bill into law. Done and done.

The Bailout Bill was passed by the House of Representatives this afternoon by a wide margin, receiving 263 votes in favour and 171 votes against, exceeding leadership expectations. It was clear those in favour of the bill had won when the “Aye” votes passed the 218 votes the bill needed at about 1:23 p.m. this afternoon.

The win for the bill came after a last minute panic over a possible fracturing of the Republican caucus and a threatened revolt by conservative Democrats. For several hours it appeared as if some members would offer a second compromise bill, which would have differed from that approved by the Senate and delayed final approval of the bill even further. Those obstacles were overcome, however.

Republican leaders feared they would fall short of the 80 votes they had promised Democrats, but wound up delivering far more votes.

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