US bank bailout Bill receives required number of votes

US bank bailout Bill receives required number of votes

More than 217 members of the US House of Representatives backed the US$397bn (€286.5bn) economic rescue package today, enough to pass the bill, barring any last-minute changes of heart.

The approval of the Bill from the House of Representatives came as members voted on the proposals a second time after they shocked and “disappointed” world leaders by rejecting the measures on Monday.

The Senate stepped in midweek and passed the Bill first by adding more than $100bn (€72bn) of so-called “sweeteners” to the proposals, piling pressure on the House to follow suit.

The Bill, which was passed by 263 votes to 171, will now go through an "enrolling" process in the US Congress - a form of housekeeping to ensure the Bill passed by the House today and the one passed by the Senate on Wednesday are the same and that it is ready for President George Bush to sign.

The president signed the Bill into law at 2.48pm ET (7.48pm Irish time), just more than an hour after it was passed by the House.

In the UK, prime minister Gordon Brown said the global financial crisis required new ways of governing and set out new plans for a National Economic Council which will meet for the first time on Monday.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the Bill would help "shine the bright light of accountability" on the financial markets and added that the passage of the "very serious piece of legislation" was done with "an eye on the future".

She said the US had faced “terrible ramifications for everyone on Main Street” while the world was focused on Wall Street.

“We were dealt a bad hand, we made the most of it,” Ms Pelosi said.

She added that she thought the Bill could have been better under different circumstances.

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