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U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (left) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (right) speak to the press after voting on a new bailout package -- October 2, 2008 - 


Renita Jablonski: The $700 billion bailout package is now worth more than $800 billion. The Senate passed a bigger version of the financial rescue plan by a wide margin last night. Additions include raising that cap on federal deposit insurance, and backing the SEC on easing rules that force companies to devalue assets on their balance sheets. Also tacked on -- a $150.5 billion package of tax cuts, both personal and corporate.

Marketplace's Washington Bureau Chief John Dimsdale joins us now. John, are you hearing a more positive tone about the package this morning?

John Dimsdale: Yeah, well several of the Republicans who voted no last Monday now say they do like the improvements that the Senate has made -- or at least, they call them improvements -- including boosting the FDIC insurance for bank deposits. You know, that's going to help small businesses that have more than $100,000 in the bank. So the hope is that Republicans who were reluctant to support this government intervention on Monday will hear the lobbying from banks and the financial industry and switch their votes.

Jablonski: Well, maybe some House members will go for this a little more, but no doubt a lot of people listening right now are not happy. This bailout is better poised than ever to get through now.

Dimsdale: Absolutely, and the senators, even after last night's vote, said "We feel the American people's pain." But they said that inaction is not an option.

Jablonski: All right, John, so what's the time line as far as a House vote goes?

Dimsdale: Probably tomorrow morning, it will come to the House floor. The leaders want to spend today doing a better head count than they had last Monday, and work during the day to make sure when they bring it to the floor that it will pass.

Jablonski: Marketplace's Washington Bureau Chief John Dimsdale. Thanks so much.

Dimsdale: You're welcome.