The $700 billion bailout plan came to a vote in the House of Representatives after a week of intense debate. Though both Democratic and Republican leadership called on their colleagues to support the bill, it failed by 23 votes. The debate gave those in opposition a chance to voice their opposition to this historic bill, and called for renewed negotiations on the same day the stock market plunged.


Story Transcript

TEXT ON SCREEN: On Sept. 29th, the House of Representatives gathered to vote on a $700 billion bailout bill. House leaders on both sides strongly urged their colleagues to vote for the legislation.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), MINORITY LEADER: What’s in the best interests of our country. Not what’s in the best interests of our party. Not what’s in the best interests of our own reelection. What’s in the best interests of our country. Vote yes.

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), MAJORITY LEADER: Imagine, my colleagues, that we do nothing. Million more homes will likely be foreclosed on. Banks would likely be unable to lend. Credit, the lifeblood of any economy, might dry up across America.

TEXT ON SCREEN: But the voice of opposition was stronger.

REP. SCOTT GARRET (R-NJ): Last night, I came to the floor and I said you should be alarmed about what Washington is doing, because [of] lack of deliberation. Today I come and say, America, you should be outraged about [what] Washington is about to do, because Washington is not listening to you.

REP. CAROLYN KILPATRICK (D-MI): We can do better, the American people deserve more, and I urge a no-vote on this legislation.

REP. JOHN CULBERSON (R-TX): It is an unprecedented and an unaffordable and an unacceptable expansion of federal power that our kids cannot afford, that we have never seen in the history of this country.

REP. PAUL BROUN (R-GA): But this is essentially Mr. Paulson’s bill to help his friends. And I can’t buy it.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): And nobody seems to ask: who is it that’s going to manage these assets? I’ve been asking, and finally the answer I got was, “Well, of course we’re going to have to outsource that.” You’re going to outsource it to the very people that caused the problem. We’re going to give them billions for assets they’ve mismanaged, and then we’re going to hire them to manage those assets. Please! Please don’t betray this nation’s great history.

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): Action or inaction today is a false choice. It is a matter of having never seriously considered any alternative in these negotiations to handing over $700 billion to the same Bush administration that has done so much to create this crisis, so little to prevent it, and for whom the vultures have now come home to roost.

REP. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): Mr. Speaker, those who believe that they can control and direct the market’s invisible hand will eventually be slapped by it.

REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D-OR): There are less expensive, less risky, targeted regulatory forms and programs that could work better. But, bottom line, President George Bush and his treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, insisted on a top-down Wall Street bailout solution. It’s sort of like the financial surge strategy. And just like the surge in Iraq, as we go into it at the outset, we know it’s not sustainable, and we know it won’t solve the underlying problems.

REP. JEB HENSARLING (R-TX): Does it take America in a direction that you believe America should go? By that test, Madam Speaker, I will vote no on this legislation.

REP. BRAD SHERMAN (D-CA): Some 400 eminent economists, including three Nobel laureates, are asking us to come back and do our job and write a good bill in the next week or so.

REP. JEFF FORTENBERRY (R-NE): The choice between inaction or action today is a false one. In good conscience I cannot support this legislation.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (R-OH): What’s good for Wall Street is good for Main Street? Not today.

TEXT ON SCREEN: The bill failed by 23 votes. 133 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted against the bailout package.

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