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House passes bailout bill

Federal bid to restore financial markets heads to president

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In a 263-171 vote, the U.S. House of Representative today approved a massive spending plan -- voted down in an earlier form Monday -- that will supply hundreds of billions of dollars in a federal effort to ease the credit squeeze by buying up bad assets from financial companies.President Bush signed the legislation shortly after the vote. After the initial $700 billion measure failed in a 205-228 House vote on Monday, the Senate wrapped in some tax cuts and business benefits that could bring the total cost of the legislation to about $850 billion. Some members of Congress referred to the additions as "sweeteners" intended to win over votes from those who initially opposed the spending plan. A majority of House Republicans opposed both the original and updated versions of the bill. House Republicans voted 65-133 against the original bill and voted 91-108 against the version with the Senate additions. Meanwhile, House Democrats voted 140-95 to pass the original meas...