Senate passes bailout bill

SENATE PASSES BAILOUT BILL…. Everything went as expected.

The Senate strongly endorsed the $700 billion economic bailout plan Wednesday, leaving backers optimistic that the easy approval, coupled with an array of popular additions, would lead to House acceptance by Friday and end the legislative uncertainty that has rocked the markets.

In stark contrast to the House rejection of the plan on Monday, a bipartisan coalition of senators — including both presidential candidates — showed no hesitation in backing a proposal that had drawn public scorn, though the outpouring eased somewhat after a market plunge followed the House defeat. The Senate margin was 74 to 25 in favor of the White House initiative to buy troubled securities in an effort to avoid an economic catastrophe. […]

Mr. McCain did not make remarks on the legislation. Mr. Obama, in his speech, said the bailout plan was regrettable but necessary and he referred to the stock market drop after the House vote. “While that decline was devastating, the consequences of the credit crisis that caused it will be even worse if we do not act now,” he said.

McCain wouldn’t even speak in support of the bill he insisted was necessary? Way to step up to the plate, senator.

The package now moves to the House, where it is expected to get a floor vote on Friday.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.