The Debate Has Begun; Hoyer Expects Vote Today

The Post's Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane are reporting that the House began debate on the procedures for considering the $700 billion bailout package and a vote is expected be held this afternoon.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) put out a statement late last night declaring that the vote will be held today, a signal that Democratic leaders believe they have the votes to pass it. It was defeated in a close House vote Monday but the House is now considering a package that the Senate passed Wednesday.

"The House will consider the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" this morning, Hoyer said. "I am hopeful that there will be bipartisan, majority support for this bill that is critical to stabilizing our nation's economy for all working Americans."

After calls from Senator Barack Obama, aides to Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said he had moved from "no" to "maybe."

Lawmakers, who are currently debating the rules for formal debate, expect to vote on final passage of the legislation between 12:30 and 1 p.m., close to the same time that the vote was called on Monday.

In one final meeting to talk things over, House Republicans huddled in the Cannon Caucus Room across the street from the Capitol, with their leaders needing to secure far more than the 65 GOP votes that they got for the bill earlier this week.

As rank-and-file lawmakers stepped to the podiums, passion poured out. "This may be the day America died," said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Va.), an opponent of the bill who heckled her leaders during the extended vote Monday demanding they gavel it shut.

Also this morning, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who voted for the measure on Monday, said he had a message for Wall Street financiers who brought the economy to this brink: "Take a long walk off a short pier."

McGovern said that it might be therapeutic to vote against the legislation, but it would be a mistake because the economic crisis would then further filter into small towns across the nation. "Anger won't keep anyone in their house," McGovern said.

- Michael S. Rosenwald

October 3, 2008; 10:17 AM ET  | Category:  business
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It's like a pier on Lake Mead and they are filling the lake with waste water to keep the desert wet and the cash flowing. Now you go to Vegas, come home busted and they send you a check to keep floating a bad mortgage and a Caddy payment. Fraud of frauds. Hey it's only $700 billion. It's rough all over.

Posted by: JD in PA | October 3, 2008 11:53 AM

The House always wins as they say. Keep a gun in the house because they are coming and they want what you have and don't have. It all went at the gas pumps and you are out of cash. They want the rest now and they want it fast & easy. A big criminal enterprise and mercy for the guilty. They'd sell your kids for a quick buck or just put them into debt for eternity if they could. If I was smart, I'd be rich. The rich are getting nervous as well they should. Maybe oil will come down and come down fast. The homeless could be taxed while they are solving our problems too. Keep debating until Christmas and into next year. Maybe government is too big. Wall Street is shrinking. Oil is making the water more expensive and the fire is growing. Give the firefighters a raise. Congress is throwing more fuel on the fire to burn us with. The pier is on fire.

Posted by: JD in PA | October 3, 2008 12:02 PM

The legislation will make losses illegal and everybody will win on the slot machines with every pull of the one armed bandit. It's a Slots Bailout and we all win. Free drinks for life, so keep playing and keep winning. Maybe nobody will vote no and they can put slot machine in the Supreme Court and all the cases can be decided by computer. We are free from thinking. Problem solved, so take the weekend off and go collect all the money you stuff into your shirts. I'm going shooting.

Posted by: JD in PA | October 3, 2008 12:10 PM

People signed a now worthless mortgage and are now angry. The worthless mortgage won't keep you in your house, so all you have left is anger. With this lovefest of endless free money, we can now have anything we want and all be happy. Wall Street can go from misery to misery loving company. It's like a bigger version of Cuba and free cigars for life and all the rum you can swill with no bar bill. Sounds like a plan. Better vote that one right away. Send me 50 grand and make me happy too.

Posted by: JD in PA | October 3, 2008 12:40 PM

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