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Bailout Debate Under Way

The House began debate on the $700 billion financial bailout bill at about 10:45 a.m. Friday, with a vote expected shortly after noon.

On a 223-205 vote, the House approved a rule for the bill, with 20 Republicans joining 203 Democrats in voting for it. The rule tees up 90 minutes of debate on the legislation and prevents lawmakers from offering amendments.

Democratic and Republican leaders have said they are confident they have the votes to pass the bill, a version of which failed the House on Monday.

If the House passes the bill, Members will begin debate on a bill to extend unemployment compensation. Votes are expected to end by 3 p.m. Friday.

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