When Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson offered Congress his $700 billion prescription for buying up troubled securities nearly two weeks ago, it was a three-page plan.
Now the proposal, which the Senate approved Wednesday night, runs 450 pages and includes “sweeteners” such as a temporary increase in federal deposit insurance and as much as $150 billion in tax breaks.
As the time ticks down to Friday’s crucial House vote, President Bush and congressional leaders are now trying to get the bill over the goal line. They are leaning on lawmakers in the House to ensure that the bill gets passed.
The House narrowly defeated a similar bill on Monday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average into a record 778-point swoon. That, House Republican Leader John Boehner told Fox News, “really had a chilling effect on a lot of our members and a lot of their constituents.”
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