Even a great number of Democrats couldn’t support the bailout:
The bill aimed to open up clogged credit lines for financial markets that had come to a near collapse. Sellers continued to shed stocks as the market teetered down more than 500 points after the vote ended.
Representatives worked throughout the weekend to make a bill palatable. Republicans had insisted on a mortgage securities insurance paid by firms who had invested in bad housing loans. That was included in the bill voted on Monday.
But many lawmakers continued to oppose the plan for a variety of reasons, including the massive price tag that would expand the national debt, and GOP members said their constituents were calling 10-1 in opposition to the bill, which had been described as too much government intervention. Of 235 Democrats, 140 supported the legislation. Of 199 Republicans, 133 opposed it.
President Bush was to meet with his economic team, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, to determine the next steps, and White House officials said they will meet and then contact congressional leaders.
“The crisis we are facing remains,” said White House Deputy Spokesman Tony Fratto, who added, “We’re obviously disappointed.”
Fratto said that he thinks many Americans were mistaken by believing that the bill was a “bailout of Wall Street.” Instead, he said the bill was to prevent a large economic crisis.