The House has voted 228-205 to reject the financial sector bailout bill crafted over the weekend by a bipartisan group of House and Senate negotiators, Roll Call reported.
The paper said that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)all had urged members to support the bill. But House Republicans Republicans voted 2-to-1 against the measure.
More than 90 Democrats also voted no.
Stock market indexes, already spooked by the prospect of defeat, plummeted between 5 percent and 7 percent on the news.
The Senate is scheduled to take up the measure as early as this evening.
Rejection in the House came after President Bush again urged lawmakers to approve the bailout bill because of the potential dire consequences of not approving it. “Every member of Congress and every American should keep in mind: A vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community,” Bush said in an early morning statement.
The House acted despite the support of some of the most respected people in the business and finance community — including Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, former General Electric chairman Jack Welch, real estate mogul Donald Trump, and former Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker.