The last time Washington rode to the rescue of an economy in crisis, during the financial meltdown of 2008, many Republicans had to be dragged along kicking and screaming.

When a $700 billion plan to rescue banks came up for a vote in late September 2008, two-thirds of House Republicans voted against it, despite the urging of their own leaders and a president of their own party, George W. Bush. The bill failed and the stock market tumbled before the plan was revived and passed, though a majority of House Republicans still…

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