Lawmakers still at odds over bailout bill

September 29, 2008 7:29:05 PM PDT
Tonight lawmakers have to start over. Amid the finger pointing and the fear of reprisals from unhappy voters, there is still a credit crisis in need of a fix.

Over the weekend, Congressional leaders said they had a deal.

But Monday, some liberal Democrats stood with conservative Republicans to decry the bailout.

"It does little to address the underlying problem the foreclosure crisis," Lee said. "We need a moratorium on foreclosures and bankruptcy reform to help people stay in their homes."

Oakland Representative Barbara Lee and Marin Representative Lynn Woolsey both said they would vote "no."

"Why isn't wall street paying for the mess they created," Woolsey said.

And when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rose in support of the bill, her speech was less a plea for support and more a condemnation of the Bush administration."

"$700 billion - a staggering number, but only a part of the cost of the failed Bush economic policies," Pelosi said in her speech.

Minutes later when the bill was defeated, Republican leader John Boehner blamed Pelosi.

"The Speaker had to give a partisan voice that poisoned our conference, caused a number of members that we thought we could get to go south," Boehner said.

Democrats responded.

"We don't believe they have the votes and they're covering up the embarrassment of not having the votes," Barney Frank said. "But think about this, 'somebody hurt my feelings, so I will punish the country.'"

Stanford University political scientist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution Morris Fiorina said Pelosi did not hurt feelings as much as she sent a message.

"I think they probably voted against it more because they realized this was going to be a partisan campaign issue because basically Pelosi threw down the gauntlet saying this is going to be a partisan campaign issue and they voted against it for that reason," Fiorina said.

In the presidential race, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama responded to the vote by calling on Congress to come together.

"Democrats and Republicans step up to the plate and get this done," Obama said at a campaign rally.

Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain managed to blame Obama while saying it was not a time to lay blame.

"Sen. Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship in the process now is not the time to fix the blame," McCain said at a campaign stop.


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