Congressional leaders and the White House agreed Sunday to a $700 billion rescue of the ailing financial industry after lawmakers insisted on sharing spending controls with the Bush administration. The biggest bailout in U.S. history won the tentative support of both presidential candidates and goes to the House for a vote today.
The plan, stunted for days by election-year politics, would give the administration broad power to use billions of taxpayer dollars to purchase devalued mortgage-related assets held by cash-starved financial firms.
President Bush called the vote a difficult one for lawmakers but said he is confident Congress will pass it. ''Without this rescue plan, the costs to the American economy could be disastrous,'' Bush said in a written statement released by the White House.