And the Recriminations Fly!

The defeat of the Bush bailout plan brought charge and counter-charge between the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House. 133 Republicans and 95 Democrats rejected the bill, with Republicans charging that a “partisan” speech by Speaker Pelosi before the vote pushed enough Republicans into a no vote to derail the bill. From the Washington Post:

After a week of intense debate in both party caucuses, 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans opposed the bill just five weeks before they face voters in an election that is shaping up as a referendum on the economy; 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans supported the controversial measure.

Republican and Democratic House leaders later blamed the defeat of the bill on each other but vowed to continue working to produce legislation that could pass Congress. They did not say when this could happen.

The Republican leadership, which had signed onto the bill, laid the defeat right on the doorstep of Speaker Pelosi.

“Americans are angry, and so are my colleagues,” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters after the vote. “They don’t want to have to vote for a bill like this.” Now, he said, “we need to renew our efforts to find a solution that Congress can support.”

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the minority whip, said, “We’d like to find a way to deliver enough Republican votes to make this happen.”

Boehner charged that the bill could have passed today “had it not been for the partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House.” Other Republican leaders also berated Pelosi.

“We thought we had a dozen more votes,” Blunt said. However, “it didn’t take much to turn them off,” he said. “A bipartisan solution is only as good as the last person that throws a bomb into the room.”

And what was it that sent the Republicans into a tailspin? The Speaker lambasted the policies of the Bush Administration forcefully.

At the beginning of a floor speech urging support for the bill, Pelosi denounced the $700 billion price tag as “the costs of the Bush administration’s failed economic policies — policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.”

If in fact this bill is the right prescription for the financial system then both sides should hang their heads in shame. We could have done without partisan rhetoric from the Speaker, despite the fact that I truly believe not one Republican vote was swayed by her talk. And the Republican leadership and the President were humiliated by their inability to deliver Republican votes for this package. Rep. Issa of California, a leader of the Republican rank and file that voted no, went on Hardball and condemned the President and the Treasury Secretary in unusually harsh terms.

It looks like we need some adults in the room. With the stock market tanking today and the Fed forced to inject massive amounts of liquidity into the system where do we end up tommorow? The focus on the stock market took attention away from that Fed action. And that Fed intervention was large.

The Federal Reserve more than doubled, to $620 billion, the dollars available to nine other central banks — in Europe, Australia, Canada and Japan — to make short-term loans to banks and other financial institutions. It also tripled, to $225 billion, the amount available for short-term loans to U.S. financial firms.

The new Fed action came as a collection of European governments scrambled to bolster three troubled mortgage companies. This weekend, British financial authorities took over mortgage giant Bradford & Bingley, and European governments in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands pumped $11.2 billion into Fortis, a major Belgian financial services conglomerate.

Can we move beyond raw partisanship to right the ship of state? I hope so, but I have my doubts.

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6 Responses to And the Recriminations Fly!

  1. Jim says:

    Your Honor,
    Crisis? What crisis?! What meltdown?!


  2. Patrizia says:

    ‘At the beginning of a floor speech urging support for the bill, Pelosi denounced the $700 billion price tag as “the costs of the Bush administration’s failed economic policies — policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.”’

    Say, San Fran Nan, do you remember this golden oldie?

    Vote accordingly.


  3. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    I notice that Barney Frank blames Republicans for the loss when many democrats jumped ship too.

    Barney Frank is part of the problem.

    Fron what I hear many constituents have called in with angry complaints to sink this bill.

    You may be on the wrong side of this issue.



  4. Bill Manzi says:

    There is no question that the bailout bill is deeply unpopular. Personally I believe that there is plenty to dislike in the package that went down. I am not sure that the package would have done quite what its backers say it would. I believe that we ALL are looking for a solution that gives a correction with no pain. I just do not believe that is possible. On balance I think that I would have voted yes, because the credit markets appear to be freezing up and if that trend continues then job loss and economic retraction will be the result. It will not just be Wall Street and the financial sector that feels this pain. Difficult choices, and politically risky votes. But we elect people to make those calls. The nation must come first.


  5. Derek Jackson says:

    Your Honor,

    The problem is that the nation hasn’t come first for far too long leading to this mess. Plenty of people have been warning of this meltdown for the last year and our so called “leaders” did nothing, and now they are going to do something? The horses have already left the barn.


  6. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    Maybe people who think it’s a bad idea and should be thought out more have as much right to that opinion as the others.

    We are talking three quarters of a trillion dollars and no one is certain it will work. 3/4 trillion on a guess. Baaaaad idea.

    Listen to the other side. After all it is partisan like you who admire John McCain for being a marverick. Now you denounce maverickdome?

    Sheesh (are you flip-flopping?)



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