Most Democrats favored the bill (172 yeas to 63 nays), while a slighter majority of Republicans voted against (91 yeas to 108 nays). Every member of the House voted. (There is one vacancy, created by the recent death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Democrat of Ohio.) [image:343 align=right size=preview hspace=10 vspace=10]
A significant number of Republicans changed their votes from last Monday, when only 65 voted in favor. President Bush spoke to “about three dozen” House members this week to try to persuade them to switch from “no” to “yes,” the White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.
Another kind of persuasion surrounded the Senate deliberations of the bill. A portfolio of popular tax provisions was added before the Senate voted in favor of the program on Wednesday night by 74 to 25.
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said agency workers were already working on details to put the rescue plan into effect, so that no time will be lost now that the president had signed the legislation. Mr. Paulson called the House action “a vote to protect the American people — and their jobs.”