Lawmakers Split on Bailout Measure

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Three Mississippi congressmen voted against the $700 billion financial bailout that failed in the House of Representatives Monday.

Republican Chip Pickering was the lone Mississippi congressman to vote for the package.

Democrats Travis Childers, Bennie Thompson and Gene Taylor voted against it.

President Bush and leaders from both parties had said the rescue was necessary to prevent a potential financial meltdown that could cripple economic growth and decimate retirement accounts.

But the package was defeated 228 to 205 Monday after constituents expressed outrage at spending so much money to correct Wall Street mistakes.

All but one of Alabama's seven members of the U.S. House voted in favor of the $700 billion financial bailout that failed in the House.

Alabama Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt of Haleyville was the lone Alabama lawmaker to vote against the package.

The state's two Democrats and four other Republicans voted for it.

Republican Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions have said they would oppose the bill if it came up in the Senate.

Several Republican aides say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended any spirit of bipartisanship surrounding the bill with a scathing speech near the close of Monday's debate. Her remarks blamed President Bush for the current financial industry turmoil.

Without mentioning her by name, Florida congressman Adam Putnam said "the partisan tone at the end of the debate" affected votes for the measure.

House Minority Leader John Boehner was more specific, saying Pelosi's words "poisoned" the situation, alienating lawmakers they'd hoped would back the bill.

Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank scoffed at the idea. The Democrat who chairs the Financial Services Committee says if Pelosi's remarks "stopped people from voting, then shame on them." He said if a speech hurt their feelings then "they really don't belong here. They're not tough enough."

Wall Street ended a stunning session Monday with a loss of more than 660 points on the day's trading, the largest point drop ever.

The plan's failure means no one knows how the financial sector, hobbled by hundreds of billions of dollars in bad mortgage bets, will recover. The credit markets remain close to frozen as banks are too afraid to lend, including loans to to other banks.


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