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House Blocks Second $350 Billion of Bailout to No Effect

Though it was nothing more than a symbolic vote, the House this afternoon voted to prevent release of the second $350 billion of the $700 billion federal government rescue/bailout program.

Except for winning points with constituents back home, the vote was meaningless: Both houses of Congress would have had to vote against release of the funds to hold them back, and the Senate voted for release last week.

The money will be available for President Obama and his Treasury secretary, presumably Tim Geithner, whose confirmation was approved by a Senate panel this afternoon.

A suddenly-impotent-on-the-bailout House took another symbolic vote this afternoon that would have put tough new restrictions on the second half of the bailout funds -- but only if the Senate agreed. The Senate will not take up the restrictions, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the banking committee said.

Just for the record, the House voted 270-155 to block release of the second $350 billion, reflecting the strong objections that many lawmakers have over the way the government has spent the first half of the bailout/rescue money.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  January 22, 2009; 3:44 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Christopher Dodd, bailout  
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