3. The Republicans, all of whom were pretty well committed to vote aye, saw those nay votes showing up on the board and knew they had been double crossed. The Democrats would go back to their home districts for the final 30 days of the campaign and magninimously claim they they didn't vote to spend $700 billion of the taxpayer's money but the Republicans did.
1. Nancy Pelosi prefaced the vote with a 20 to 30 minute rant
Rep. Pelosi’s Remarks on Floor Ahead of House Bailout Vote
Her remarks, as prepared for delivery, according to Rep. Pelosi’s office:
“Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion?
It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only 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.
Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created chaos.
That chaos is the dismal picture painted by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke a week and a half ago in the Capitol.
As they pointed out, we confront a crisis of historic magnitude that has the ability to do serious injury not simply to our economy, but to the American people: not just to Wall Street, but to everyday Americans on Main Street.
It is our responsibility today, to help avert that catastrophic outcome.
Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United States.
It is a crisis that freezes credit, causes families to lose their homes, cripples small businesses, and makes it harder to find jobs.
It is a crisis that never had to happen. It is now the duty of every Member of this body to recognize that the failure to act responsibly, with full protections for the American taxpayer, would compound the damage already done to the financial security of millions of American families.
Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush Administration.
I must recognize the outstanding leadership provided by Chairman Barney Frank, whose enormous intellectual and strategic abilities have never before been so urgently needed, or so widely admired.
I also want to recognize Rahm Emanuel, who combined his deep knowledge of financial institutions with his pragmatic policy experience, to resolve key disagreements.
Secretary Paulson deserves credit for working day and night to help reach an agreement and for his flexibility in negotiating changes to his original proposal.
Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street.
The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky financial deals. They did not jeopardize the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilization bill.
So we insisted that this bill contain several key provisions:
This legislation must contain independent and ongoing oversight to ensure that the recovery program is managed with full transparency and strict accountability.
The legislation must do everything possible to allow as many people to stay in their homes rather than face foreclosure.
The corporate CEOs whose companies will benefit from the public’s participation in this recovery must not benefit by exorbitant salaries and golden parachute retirement bonuses.
Our message to Wall Street is this: the party is over. The era of golden parachutes for high-flying Wall Street operators is over. No longer will the U.S. taxpayer bailout the recklessness of Wall Street.
The taxpayers who bear the risk in this recovery must share in the upside as the economy recovers.
And should this program not pay for itself, the financial institutions that benefited, not the taxpayers, must bear responsibility for making up the difference.
These were the Democratic demands to safeguard the American taxpayer, to help the economy recover, and to impose tough accountability as a central component of this recovery effort.
This legislation is not the end of congressional activity on this crisis. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will continue to hold investigative and oversight hearings to find out how the crisis developed, where mistakes were made, and how the recovery must be managed to protect the middle class and the American taxpayer.
With passage of this legislation today, we can begin the difficult job of turning our economy around, of helping those who depend on a growing economy and stable financial institutions for a secure retirement, for the education of their children, for jobs and small business credit.
Today we must act for those Americans, for Main Street, and we must act now, with the bipartisan spirit of cooperation which allowed us to fashion this legislation.
This not enough. We are also working to restore our nation’s economic strength by passing a new economic recovery stimulus package"a robust, job creating bill"that will help Americans struggling with high prices, get our economy back on track, and renew the American Dream.
Today, we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years with the failed economic leadership that has left us left capable of meeting the challenges of the future.
We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a New Direction to a better future.”
What Happened in Washington Today
I do believe both parties put politics ahead of what was the right thing to do.
Had both parties put partisanship aside and agreed to vote to pass the bill, I think they would have scored some points with the people, even those who are angry at this whole thing. I think the way it went, the people will hold Congress in even lower esteem than before.
The weirdest case in favor the bill came from Minority Leader John Boehner, who yesterday called the bill a "crap sandwich." "Nobody wants to vote for this," he yelled. "Nobody wants to be anywhere near it. ... You all know how awful it is. I didn't come here to vote for bills like this!" But, he went on, "I believe the risk in not acting is much higher. ... These are the votes that separate the men from the boys and the girls from the women. What's in the best interest of our country? Vote yes," he concluded and dashed away from the podium in tears.
So what happened? [..]
2. In a backroom deal, Pelosi had counted the votes and they had way more than they needed. So, knowing that the bill if passed was going to anger a great many people, she gave 40 Democrats in vulnerable seats permission to vote nay. Soon after the vote began that began showing up on the vote board in the House chamber. [..]
3. The Republicans, all of whom were pretty well committed to vote aye, saw those nay votes showing up on the board and knew they had been double crossed. [..] Coupled with Pelosi' unprecedented acid partisan screed and the double cross, the Republicans were no longer willing to stick their necks out and take the lumps for the country all by themselves. And they defected in droves.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been promised that 80 or 90 Republicans would vote for the bill. That way, both parties could share responsibility. But in the end, just 66 Republican votes materialized.
According to my sources, once Pelosi learned of the double-cross, she told the Democratic whips to make it a conscience vote on the Democratic side as well. With the likelihood of voter indignation and the strong possibility that this bill would not fix what was broken, Pelosi was not prepared to make this primarily a Democratic bill. [..]
In Bailout Vote, a Leadership Breakdown
By JACKIE CALMES
Published: September 29, 2008
WASHINGTON " The collapse of the proposed rescue plan for the teetering financial system was the product of a larger failure " of political leadership in Washington " at a moment when the world was looking to the United States to contain the cascading economic crisis.
From the White House to Congress to the presidential campaign trail, the principal players did not rally the votes they needed in the House. They appeared not to comprehend or address in a convincing way an intense strain of opposition to the deal among voters. They allowed partisan politics to flare at sensitive moments.
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: September 29, 2008
In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt inherited an economic crisis. He understood that his first job was to restore confidence, to give people a sense that somebody was in charge, that something was going to be done.
This generation of political leaders is confronting a similar situation, and, so far, they have failed utterly and catastrophically to project any sense of authority, to give the world any reason to believe that this country is being governed. Instead, by rejecting the rescue package on Monday, they have made the psychological climate much worse.
Foxfyre wrote:I do believe both parties put politics ahead of what was the right thing to do.
Yeah, but the starry-eyed part is where you think the Republicans were double crossed. This was never going to be a unanimous vote, and both sides had given the other side assurances that the party leaders would bring enough of their party in to pass it.
The Democrats brought theirs, the Republicans didn't. At that point either side could have coaxed more votes out, and neither did. When you try to portray it as a betrayal by Democrats and that the Republicans only voted that way because they saw some negative Democrat votes is self-serving nonsense. The Democrats brought 60% to the table, the Republicans brought 33%. If the Republicans brought only 39% to the table the bill would have passed. Portraying this as a Democrat double cross is nonsense.
Quote:Had both parties put partisanship aside and agreed to vote to pass the bill, I think they would have scored some points with the people, even those who are angry at this whole thing. I think the way it went, the people will hold Congress in even lower esteem than before.
I agree, and this is why they should have voted with balls.
If they'd said that they know it sucks to have to do it but that they were doing what they thought was the best thing for the people they would have earned themselves more respect.
Nimh posted this elsewhere, and this guy had it right:
Quote:The weirdest case in favor the bill came from Minority Leader John Boehner, who yesterday called the bill a "crap sandwich." "Nobody wants to vote for this," he yelled. "Nobody wants to be anywhere near it. ... You all know how awful it is. I didn't come here to vote for bills like this!" But, he went on, "I believe the risk in not acting is much higher. ... These are the votes that separate the men from the boys and the girls from the women. What's in the best interest of our country? Vote yes," he concluded and dashed away from the podium in tears.