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Bailout Fails

September 29, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Here’s the bailout bill on OpenCongress:

H.R.3997 – Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

In a shocking turn of events, the bailout was just rejected by the House of Representatives today by a vote of 205 – 228 against. House Democrats voted 141 to 94 in favor of the plan. Republicans voted 65 to 133 against. The full roll call vote can be viewed here.

Accordingly, the Dow has plunged about 700 points as the House vote was held open for 30 minutes. As the vote was gaveled closed, the Dow was down 525.

At this point nobody really knows what comes next. Lawmakers’ offices were flooded today with record numbers of phone calls form constituents, all vehemently against the bailout. People are struggling and they just don’t want to pay to bailout Wall Street.

Last week, Congress rejected an economic stimulus bill that would have provided extended unemployment benefits for state with exceptionally high unemployment rates, an increase in food stamps benefits, job creation through infrastructure investment and much more. In light of that failure, it’s not all that surprising that people are up in arms over being asked to put their tax money up to bailout Wall Street.

It’s going to be tough to alter this bill in a way that helps it win the votes it would need to pass. The current bill is a balanced, bipartisan compromise on a bailout, but the core idea just isn’t popular enough to get through Congress right now. Any adjustment to the bill is likely to lose as much support from one side of the aisle as it is to gain from the other. We’ll be watching to see if a plunging stock market and mass citizen outrage changes things.

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