The House this afternoon defeated the $700 billion emergency financial bailout package, ignoring urgent pleas from President Bush and bipartisan congressional leaders to quickly rescue the staggering financial industry. Stocks started plummeting on Wall Street even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was announced on the House floor.
When the critical vote was tallied, too few members of the House were willing to support the unpopular measure with elections just 5 weeks away. Ample no votes came from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle. Bush and a host of leading congressional figures had implored the lawmakers to pass the legislation despite howls of protest from their constituents.