US House of Representatives rejects bail out bill in vote
Monday, September 29, 2008
The US House of Representatives rejected a bill on the USD 700 billion bail out of US banks. The voting on the bill has completed.
If passed, the bailout plan would have allowed for the United States government to purchase devalued mortgage backed securities, resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis from troubled financial institutions. The US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has said that the plan could cost up to $700 billion.
There has been considerable debate over several parts of the plan, which failed with 228 votes opposing, 205 supporting, and 1 not voting. The bill had much more support by the Democratic Party (with 60% of Democrats voting "aye") than the Republican Party (of which only 33% voted for the bill).
George W. Bush described the bill before the vote was made. "This legislation deals with complex issues, and negotiators were asked to address them in a very short period of time. I appreciate the leadership of members on both sides of the aisle, who came together when our nation was counting on them. Negotiations are sometimes difficult, but their hard work and cooperation paid off," he said, in a speech in which Bush begged politicians to support the bill.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Question One: Should the bill have passed?
Question Two: Why didn't the bill pass?
Bush continued describing the bill. "The bipartisan economic rescue plan addresses the root cause of the financial crisis — the assets related to home mortgages that have lost value during the housing decline. Under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the federal government will be authorized to purchase these assets from banks and other financial institutions, which will help free them to resume lending to businesses and consumers."
According to BBC News, congressmen opposed the bill after receiving 50 times as many letters against the bill as for the bill. George Bush attempted to respond to the criticisms of the bill by US citizens. "I know many Americans are worried about the cost of the bill, and I understand their concern. This bill commits up to 700 billion taxpayer dollars, because a large amount of money is necessary to have an impact on our financial system. However, both the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget expect that the ultimate cost to the taxpayer will be far less than that".
- Press Release: "President Bush Discusses Financial Rescue Legislation" — White House, September 29, 2008
- William Branigin and Neil Irwin. "In Televised Address, Bush to Ask Nation to Support Bailout" — Washington Post, September 24, 2008