Home Bailout Bill Fails in House Vote (!)

Bailout Bill Fails in House Vote (!)

user profile picture Chris Martenson Sep 29, 2008
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The "Bailout Bill" has failed to pass the House by a vote of 228-205.  There were defections in both parties. (By my count, that leaves two individuals not voting – hiding in the restroom maybe?)

This has to mark one of the most important watershed moments for the people of this country.  They were heard and represented over and above those of the well-connected and paid.

From the Wall Street Journal:

[quote]WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives delivered a stunning defeat to legislation designed to rescue the nation’s troubled financial system, sweeping aside a call from President Bush to "send a strong signal" of confidence to markets at home and abroad.

The 228-205 vote Monday exposed deep unease among rank-and-file lawmakers in both parties with what would be an unprecedented intervention in the private sector. The vote came as turmoil in financial markets widened, prompting the Federal Reserve to inject new capital into credit markets and forcing the government-arranged sale of Wachovia Corp. to Citigroup.[/quote]

The main problem for the Bush administration was committing an enormous strategic blunder in their chosen approach to selling the bill this close to an election..

Ahead of the vote, Mr. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney, along with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, joined in lobbying for the bill, telephoning wavering rank-and file Republicans.

Given the fact that Bush and Cheney have highest disapproval ratings ever recorded, this would have been a good time to wing off on an important junket to Rangoon. Instead they called Republicans. Awk-ward. I can only hope that recordings were made.

My largest complaint, even with the reformulated bailout bill in its 120+ page glory, was the fact that it was completely unconstitutional and rewarded an enormous amount of money and power to an administration that, frankly, should not be entrusted with anything more serious than assuring they remove all the electronic snooping devices from the White House upon their departure. And even then I’d check their work.

What I am referring to is that the proposed oversight committee for the bailout funds was to be composed of the Treasury Secretary and 4 other folks of his choosing. Period. Nobody from Congress or the Senate. Given that the Treasury Secretary is appointed by the President, this means that the largest single appropriation of money would be effectively overseen only by people directly under the control of the executive branch. Who want to reward this particular administration at this time with that power?

Only fools.

For a complete list of fools, we can visit the roll call for this vote. Apparently there were 205 of them.

I will vote for exactly zero of them if any happen to show up in my district.