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Bailout package sails through Senate


October 2, 2008

US Financial Meltdown:
Bailout package sails through Senate  

After one spectacular failure, the $700 billion financial industry bailout found a second life Wednesday, winning lopsided passage in the US Senate and gaining ground in the House, where Republican opposition softened, reported the Associated Press.

Senators loaded the economic rescue bill with tax breaks and other sweeteners before passing it by a wide margin, 74-25, a month before the presidential and congressional elections.

In the House, leaders were working feverishly to convert enough opponents of the bill to push it through by Friday, just days after lawmakers there stunningly rejected an earlier version and sent markets plunging around the globe.

The measure did not cause the same uproar in the Senate, where both parties' presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, made rare appearances to cast "yes" votes.

The rescue package lets the government spend billions of dollars to buy bad mortgage-related securities and other devalued assets held by troubled financial institutions. If successful, advocates say, that would allow frozen credit to begin flowing again and prevent a deep recession.

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