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House Defeats Wall Street Rescue Plan

A controversial $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill backed by Congressional leaders and the Bush administration failed to pass in the House of Representatives Monday. Kwame Holman reports on the dramatic day on Capitol Hill.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    That surprising defeat of the financial rescue plan. NewsHour congressional correspondent Kwame Holman begins our coverage.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    The unexpected rejection came after the morning's cautious optimism that the bill would pass. As the "no" votes mounted, Wall Street underwent a drastic sell-off.

    And when the vote was declared final, leaders from both parties blamed each other, a sharp contrast to the bipartisan praise for the rescue plan when it was finalized over the weekend.

    House Republican Leader John Boehner said a pre-vote speech by the Democrats' leader, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, drove away Republicans.

    REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), House Minority Leader: I do believe that we could have gotten there today had it not been for this partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House.

    I mean, we were — we put everything we had into getting the votes to get there today, but the speaker had to give a partisan voice that poisoned our conference, caused a number of members that we thought we could get to go south.

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