House Republican leaders urge members to support bailout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican leaders of the House of Representatives said on Sunday that objections to early versions of a proposed $700-billion bailout bill for financial firms had improved it and urged colleagues to support the measure.

“We have reduced the amount of taxpayer risk in this bill significantly,” House Republican leader John Boehner said after meeting for over three hours with fellow Republicans.

The bill now includes a provision for companies to take out insurance against failing assets in addition to their being able to sell the assets to the government.

“We are supporting this bill,” Boehner told reporters, adding he hoped it would receive substantial Republican backing at an expected vote on Monday. “We want them to support this because it is the right thing to do for this country.”

House Republican Whip Roy Blunt declined to give specific vote estimates but said he expected “substantial support” among House Republicans for the plan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, has said she wants a solid bipartisan vote in favor of the bill.

Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Tim Dobbyn