James Rowley and Nicholas Johnston
October 2, 2008

The U.S. Senate passed a $700 billion financial-market rescue package loaded with inducements for the House of Representatives to approve the measure following its rejection of an earlier version.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The legislation, approved last night on a 74-25 vote, authorizes the government to buy troubled assets from financial institutions rocked by record home foreclosures. It contains two provisions favored by House Republicans: One raises the limit on federal bank-deposit insurance; the other reiterates the authority of securities regulators to suspend asset-valuing rules that corporate executives blame for fueling the crisis.

The bill’s proponents cited the record 778-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the House’s 228-205 defeat of the legislation Sept. 29 as evidence of the urgency to stabilize the banking system. They suggested that the market reaction may spur some House Republicans to change their minds when the bill comes to a vote, likely tomorrow afternoon.

“The big drop” in the Dow Index “really had a chilling effect on a lot of our members and a lot of their constituents,” House Republican Leader John Boehner said on Fox News. With changes made by the Senate, the legislation “has a much better chance” of passage this time, he said.

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