House Votes Against Release of Bailout Money, in Symbolic Move

In a symbolic vote, the House of Representatives voted Thursday against releasing the second half of the financial rescue money Congress allocated last fall. 

The Senate already approved the release of the $350 billion before President Obama was sworn into office, making a House vote unnecessary. 

But the House voted 270-to-155 to withhold the funding. 

Many lawmakers had raised objections to freeing the second half of the $700 billion fund because the Treasury Department was unable to explain how it decided to use the first half or document how it was spent. 

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., offered a "motion of disapproval" to prevent the government from spending the money. Members had to vote in favor of Foxx's motion in order to oppose putting the funds in the pipeline.

Though the House had no power to withhold the money following the Senate vote, holding the debate gave skeptical lawmakers an opportunity to register their votes against an unpopular program. 

Those who voted for withholding the money Thursday can use their vote as political cover to show they opposed spending an additional $350 billion.