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Monday, September 29, 2008

U.S. House rejects bailout plan in bipartisan vote, Clerk's website inaccessible

The United States House has just voted to reject the Bush administration's bailout compromise plan, supported by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the Democratic leadership, and the Republican leadership:
In a moment of historic drama in the Capitol and on Wall Street, the House of Representatives voted on Monday to reject a $700 billion rescue of the financial industry.

The vote against the measure was 228 to 205. Supporters vowed to try to bring the rescue package up for consideration again as soon as possible.

Stock markets plunged sharply at midday as it appeared that the measure would go down to defeat.
Ninety five Democrats joined with a hundred and thirty three Republicans to defeat the legislation. We're just starting to learn the details. We do know from Darcy Burner's campaign that Republican Dave Reichert voted no, but we don't know how the rest of the Washington delegation voted yet.

UPDATE, 11:40 AM: We have the roll call vote for the Washington delegation:
Voting yes: Representatives Brian Baird, Norm Dicks, Jim McDermott, Rick Larsen, Adam Smith

Voting no: Representatives Jay Inslee, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dave Reichert, Doc Hastings
Reichert, who is in danger of being replaced in Washington's 8th District by challenger Darcy Burner, refused to say before the roll call how he would vote (Reichert gave a lame interview to Northwest Cable News this morning). He eventually voted no, but only after Darcy Burner made it crystal clear that she opposes the bailout plan in its current form.

Immediately following the vote, the House Clerk's website became inaccessible as thousands of people tried to access the roll call vote to find out how members of the House voted. Clearly our legislative branch needs some upgraded hardware; it looks like they don't have enough bandwidth to keep their website online when it is in demand by the people of the United States.

UPDATE: CNBC just aired some cogent analysis about the political impact of this vote. The Democratic leadership is correctly pointing out that they brought more votes to the table for the bailout plan than they promised, and the Republicans, in contrast, brought less.

The rejection means the financial crisis will stay in the news, which isn't good for John McCain. Democrats can remind voters that Republicans are responsible for getting us into this mess and are now standing in the way of taking action, although that last line of argument may not go over well because the bailout (which NPI opposes) is wildly unpopular outside of the Beltway.


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