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US Senate Considers New Financial Rescue Plan


The U.S. Senate has scheduled a vote for Wednesday night on a new version of the $700 billion financial rescue plan. New measures in the bill are designed to win the support of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, who rejected the previous version. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from Washington.

The U.S. Senate is seeking to pass a new version of a financial rescue plan - with some modest changes.

One of the new measures senators are tacking on is a provision that will raise the amount of money the federal government will insure on bank deposits from $100,000 to $250,000.

American presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain both support the move. The two senators are expected to come back to Washington for Wednesday's vote, as is Obama's vice-presidential running mate, Senator Joe Biden.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he expects the rescue plan to receive broad support. "I am hopeful and I am confident that all sides - House and Senate, White House - will work together to achieve a goal that will be good for the American people," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell says both parties will work together in an effort to stop further financial turmoil.

"I, too, want to reassure the American people that we intend to pass this legislation this week. We will pass it on a broad, bipartisan basis - both sides cooperating to prevent this financial crisis from persisting," he said.

The House of Representatives rejected the first version of the rescue plan, earlier this week, by a vote of 228 to 205, with more than two-thirds of Republicans against it.

The senate leadership hopes the new bill will win Republican support. But, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats, who voted against the rescue plan, still object to the principle of using $700 billion in taxpayer money to buy bad investments from financial firms.

Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio said, "The point is, the premise is faulty. And, as much as the Democratic leadership has tried to improve it, it still is likely to fail. Folks would like to come together on something that doesn't put the taxpayers at risk - that's a common theme among members both who voted for the bill and who voted against the bill."

The Democratic group also objects to a measure in the Senate's version that would extend tax breaks for businesses.

Financial markets, around the world, are drastically rising and falling on expectations about the U.S. financial bailout.

World stocks plummeted, after the House of Representatives voted down the bill, Monday. But the markets recovered much of those losses on renewed optimism that lawmakers will approve a plan.

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