The House of Representatives today rejected a plan to borrow up to $700 billion to buy "toxic" assets from banks and financial institutions, with opponents deriding the plan as a taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street. After a passionate three-hour debate in which supporters of the bill warned of the dire consequences of inaction, House lawmakers voted 228-205 against legislation that was intended to mollify critics of the Bush administration's original plan. Stocks plunged after the vote, as investors reacted to the reluctance by lawmakers to intervene in the credit crunch. The Treasury Department issued a statement saying it would use "all the tools at our disposal, as we have over the last several months, to protect our financial markets and our economy." The vote was a rejection of a compromise effort by House leaders over the weekend to craft legislation that would have allowed the Bush administration to move forward with a plan put forward Sept. ...
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