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House defeats $700B financial industry bailout

Matter-Eater Lad

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WASHINGTON - The House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the nation's financial system, ignoring urgent warnings from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties that the economy could nosedive into recession without it.



Stocks plummeted on Wall Street even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was announced on the House floor.


Bush and a host of leading congressional figures had implored the lawmakers to pass the legislation despite howls of protest from their constituents back home. Despite pressure from supporters, not enough members were willing to take the political risk just five weeks before an election.


Ample no votes came from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle. More than two-thirds of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats opposed the bill.


The overriding question for congressional leaders was what to do next. Congress has been trying to adjourn so that its members can go out and campaign. And with only five weeks left until Election Day, there was no clear indication of whether the leadership would keep them in Washington. Leaders were huddling after the vote to figure out their next steps.


A White House spokesman said that President Bush was "very disappointed."


"There's no question that the country is facing a difficult crisis that needs to be addressed," Tony Fratto told reporters. He said the president will be meeting with members of his team later in the day "to determine next steps."


"Obviously we are very disappointed in this outcome," Fratto said. ". There's no question that the country is facing a difficult crisis that needs to be addressed. The president will be meeting with his team this afternoon to determine the next steps and will also be in touch with congressional leaders."


Monday's mind-numbing vote had been preceded by unusually aggressive White House lobbying, and spokesman Tony Fratto said that Bush had used a "call list" of people he wanted to persuade to vote yes as late as just a short time before the vote.


Lawmakers shouted news of the plummeting Dow Jones average as lawmakers crowded on the House floor during the drawn-out and tense call of the roll, which dragged on for roughly 40 minutes as leaders on both sides scrambled to corral enough of their rank-and-file members to support the deeply unpopular measure.


They found only two.


Bush and his economic advisers, as well as congressional leaders in both parties had argued the plan was vital to insulating ordinary Americans from the effects of Wall Street's bad bets. The version that was up for vote Monday was the product of marathon closed-door negotiations on Capitol Hill over the weekend.


"We're all worried about losing our jobs," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., declared in an impassioned speech in support of the bill before the vote. "Most of us say, 'I want this thing to pass, but I want you to vote for it — not me.' "


With their dire warnings of impending economic doom and their sweeping request for unprecedented sums of money and authority to bail out cash-starved financial firms, Bush and his economic chiefs have focused the attention of world markets on Congress, Ryan added.


"We're in this moment, and if we fail to do the right thing, Heaven help us," he said.


The legislation the administration promoted would have allowed the government to buy bad mortgages and other rotten assets held by troubled banks and financial institutions. Getting those debts off their books should bolster those companies' balance sheets, making them more inclined to lend and easing one of the biggest choke points in the credit crisis. If the plan worked, the thinking went, it would help lift a major weight off the national economy that is already sputtering.


The fear in the financial markets send the Dow Jones industrials cascading down by over 700 points at one juncture. As the vote was shown on TV, stocks plunged and investors fled to the safety of the credit markets, worrying that the financial system would keep sinking under the weight of failed mortgage debt.


"As I said on the floor, this is a bipartisan responsibility and we think (Democrats) met our responsibility," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.


Asked whether majority Democrats would try to reverse the stunning defeat, Hoyer said, "We're certainly not going to abandon our responsibility. We'll continue to focus on this and see what actions we can take."


Several Republican aides said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had torpedoed any spirit of bipartisanship that surrounded the bill with her scathing speech near the close of the debate that blamed Bush's policies for the economic turmoil.


Without mentioning her by name, Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., No. 3 Republican, said: "The partisan tone at the end of the debate today I think did impact the votes on our side."


Putnam said lawmakers were working "to garner the necessary votes to avoid a financial collapse."


But the defeat was already causing a brutal round of finger-pointing.


"We could have gotten there today had it not been for the partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House," House Minority Leader John Boehner said. Pelosi's words, the Ohio Republican said, "poisoned our conference, caused a number of members that we thought we could get, to go south."


Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the whip, estimated that Pelosi's speech changed the minds of a dozen Republicans who might otherwise have supported the plan.


Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., scoffed at the explanation.


"Well if that stopped people from voting, then shame on them," he said. "If people's feelings were hurt because of a speech and that led them to vote differently than what they thought the national interest (requires), then they really don't belong here. They're not tough enough."



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There are some things more important than the stock market average for a single day. What has been made patently clear by this fiasco is that neither Democrats nor Republicans understand the long term implications of printing more money just to clear up a liquidity issue.

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Time to Hoardeth the Goldeth! [smile] Most of the market is psychological; if it dips down, somehow we'll figure out how to get it back to normal.. Personally, I think the markets neglect quality of life in favor of quantity of stuff; and need oversight by competent, independent, and checked and balanced governance.. We depend on this so much for our very survival, it seems too trivial to either just "let it ride", or to allow the political whims of the day create such disasters in the making..



BTW - what are "pie-eaters"?

PS- Word on the street here has that Pelosi's speech tipped the balance, and because she was blaming the Republicans for the financial woes, they retaliated in droves with the "no" votes. But the lawmakers were faced with calls to their offices on the order of 300-against to 1-for the measure, so whether or not it was the right thing to do, many caved to the pressure of short-term thinking; one might think curtailing the excesses of TV attack ads and creating room on the broadcast networks for more real substantive debate on political races & issues would allow the public to see what really is going on, and to make a more informed choice either way on the matter. And again, I think terms should be for 6-years in the house (on a 2-year rotation for a third of the house members), and limit their time in office to 2 or 3 terms max. That might take the pressures off short-term thinking and political gambit taking.

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Yeah Pelosi did America a favor with her horribly timed speech. The bail out won't work and will just waste money. They could have come up with a realistic solution that benefited us the most, but they chose to corruption over intelligence.


Bottom line, the "bail out" won't help, just further corruption and partisan politics that put us in this mess.

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Okay here it comes again. The Senate will vote on a new version of the bailout tonight (recall they passed the original version as well). This new version includes an extra $100 billion in tax cuts for certain businesses (making the effective cost that much higher, as the deficit will increase and this will cause government debt interest to rise).


The tax-credits include stuff for alternative energy sources, which is wholly irrelevant to the bill's core purpose. Everyone take note of how the Congress works: in order to get votes, they tack on extra spending. There is no incentive to spend less.


Let's hope when this bill reaches the House, they'll vote it down again. I'm not holding my breath.

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150 extra Billion added to this bullshit bill.


If America does not rise up and vote these crooks out after they pass it, I'm moving out of the country.


Too bad 90% of the media is the government propaganda, lying about this bill to get American to support it. Have any of you watched fox news in the last few days? It should change it's name to corrupt politician new organization. CNN isn't much better.


I think the media is more for the bill then Bush is.

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What's funny about the news channels is how they talk down to their viewers. The senators or congressmen get on TV and say something like, "Americans think this is a bailout for Wall Street. It's not. It's a bailout for Main Street."


Americans aren't stupid. They understand perfectly well what's going on, and it involves taking money out of their pockets to pay for other peoples' incompetence. Sure, people will lose their homes. Banks will lose money, and some will go bankrupt. But as Rush Limbaugh said today (who I only agree with on rare occasion), there is a one-word solution to all this mess: RENT.

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We have to change our system of credit. We cannot go on with this "credit society". Can't afford a house, you have a good point, rent. But it's been proven a economy run on credit is bad.


Exactly, and what makes people save their money? Higher interest rates! Unfortunately the Federal Reserve keeps rates too low all the time.


The fact Americans spend so much money is entirely understandable - the government has cultivated a spending culture by destroying our dollar.

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Grouped by Home State

Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Nay Shelby (R-AL), Nay

Alaska: Murkowski (R-AK), Yea Stevens (R-AK), Yea

Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Yea McCain (R-AZ), Yea

Arkansas: Lincoln (D-AR), Yea Pryor (D-AR), Yea

California: Boxer (D-CA), Yea Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

Colorado: Allard (R-CO), Nay Salazar (D-CO), Yea

Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Yea Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea

Delaware: Biden (D-DE), Yea Carper (D-DE), Yea

Florida: Martinez (R-FL), Yea Nelson (D-FL), Nay

Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Yea Isakson (R-GA), Yea

Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Yea Inouye (D-HI), Yea

Idaho: Craig (R-ID), Yea Crapo (R-ID), Nay

Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Yea Obama (D-IL), Yea

Indiana: Bayh (D-IN), Yea Lugar (R-IN), Yea

Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Yea

Kansas: Brownback (R-KS), Nay Roberts (R-KS), Nay

Kentucky: Bunning (R-KY), Nay McConnell (R-KY), Yea

Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Nay Vitter (R-LA), Nay

Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea Snowe (R-ME), Yea

Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea Mikulski (D-MD), Yea

Massachusetts: Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting Kerry (D-MA), Yea

Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Yea Stabenow (D-MI), Nay

Minnesota: Coleman (R-MN), Yea Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea

Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Nay Wicker (R-MS), Nay

Missouri: Bond (R-MO), Yea McCaskill (D-MO), Yea

Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Yea Tester (D-MT), Nay

Nebraska: Hagel (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Yea

Nevada: Ensign (R-NV), Yea Reid (D-NV), Yea

New Hampshire: Gregg (R-NH), Yea Sununu (R-NH), Yea

New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea Menendez (D-NJ), Yea

New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Yea Domenici (R-NM), Yea

New York: Clinton (D-NY), Yea Schumer (D-NY), Yea

North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea Dole (R-NC), Nay

North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Yea Dorgan (D-ND), Nay

Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Yea Voinovich (R-OH), Yea

Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Yea Inhofe (R-OK), Nay

Oregon: Smith (R-OR), Yea Wyden (D-OR), Nay

Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea Specter (R-PA), Yea

Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Yea Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea

South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Nay Graham (R-SC), Yea

South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Nay Thune (R-SD), Yea

Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea Corker (R-TN), Yea

Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Yea Hutchison (R-TX), Yea

Utah: Bennett (R-UT), Yea Hatch (R-UT), Yea

Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Yea Sanders (I-VT), Nay

Virginia: Warner (R-VA), Yea Webb (D-VA), Yea

Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Nay Murray (D-WA), Yea

West Virginia: Byrd (D-WV), Yea Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea

Wisconsin: Feingold (D-WI), Nay Kohl (D-WI), Yea

Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Nay Enzi (R-WY), Nay


Find your state, and if your senators voted Yea, you vote Nay on them in November. Tell all your family, friends, coworkers, etc.

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