Senate Passes Sweetened Bailout Bill
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2008 8:25 PM CDT
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., take part in a press conference on the financial crisis in the Capitol building on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008 in Washington....   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – The Senate overwhelmingly passed a historic $700-billion bill tonight to salvage the US economy, MSNBC reports. Senators backed the measure 74-25, hailing changes to the House measure that would aid the middle class and small businesses. Senate leaders said they hoped their bill would persuade House members to get on board, and save a financial system that has been crippled by the credit crisis.

Senators sweetened the measure with $100 billion in middle class and small business tax breaks designed to convince disgruntled voters it's not a Wall Street giveaway. They also raised FDIC insurance for private bank accounts to $250,000 from $100,000. Both presidential candidates flew to the capital today to back the bill.