Local Politics

Local lawmakers say bailout was too rushed

Posted September 30, 2008

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— Two North Carolina congressmen say they voted against Monday's failed $700 billion emergency bailout for the nation's financial system because, in part, the bill was too rushed.

"It's just not the bailout of Wall Street. It's about saving our economy," Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat, said Tuesday at a ribbon-cutting at a new AT&T call center that will bring 400 jobs to Goldsboro.

"I am concerned about the cost of it and the fact that there is no mechanism built in to recover that money – that's problem No. 1," he said.

Butterfield, who represents the 1st Congressional District that includes Roanoke Rapids, Rocky Mount and Goldsboro, and Republican Rep. Walter Jones of the 3rd Congressional District, were two of nine of the state's 13 congressional members voting against the plan, which failed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 228-205.

The move caused the Dow Jones industrial average to plummet a record 778 points, beating the 684-point drop on the first day of trading after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Stocks, however, rebounded Tuesday, with the Dow up 485 points, and President George W. Bush warned lawmakers that a deal needs to happen or the U.S. economy could suffer painful and lasting damage.

The House is expected to reconvene Thursday to continue debate and vote on a revised bill.

But Jones, also at Tuesday's ribbon-cutting, said that without major changes, he doesn't expect quick action this week. He said he worries about whom the current plan would benefit most.

"I could not vote to obligate the American people, our children and grandchildren, to a $700 billion debt," he said. "The American people cannot continue to afford to bail out companies that, at one time, were successful, and maybe they got too greedy."

Despite Bush's warning, Jones said he and other lawmakers want to hold hearings and consult with experts to analyze the problems of the economy.

Many on Wall Street had expected the plan would help sweep away some of the fear and pessimism that has hobbled credit markets, which are where businesses turn to finance their day-to-day operations.

The bill's failure came despite lobbying by Bush and support from House leaders of both parties.

Immediately following the vote, Republican leaders blamed their failure to secure more votes on the partisan tone of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pre-vote speech on the House floor.

"There were a dozen members who we thought ... we had a really good chance of getting on the floor," said Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio. "And all that evaporated with that speech."

Butterfield admitted politics also played a role in his vote.

"We on the Democratic side don't want to be accused of spending $700 billion in taxpayer money by the Republicans in the election," Butterfield said. "If we're going to bail out the financial markets, we're going to have to do it jointly."


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  • ridgerunner Oct 1, 2008

    Dems do not need to investigate Fannie and Freddie cause they were the ones who enabled them to create this mess starting with Peanutman Carter and then Clinton adding fuel to the flames.

  • Dave Green Oct 1, 2008

    No bailout. Not with MY MONEY or any imaginary money anybody dreams up.

  • gunny462 Oct 1, 2008

    "Republicans bailed out at the last minute and then whined it was her speech that insulted them."

    By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
    Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Ohio Rep. Steven LaTourette’s vote on the bailout package was influenced by a speech by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. LaTourette had expressed his opposition to the bill before Pelosi's speech.

    No, whining I can see, just statesmen(persons) doing their job questioning the bill.

    I understand what bi-partisanship means... starts with communication

  • redneck050 Oct 1, 2008

    them saying the bailout was too rushed translates to "i didnt have time to get my pork barrel agenda added in. so lets postpone it till everyone has their chance to add pork to the bailout

  • Bendal1 Oct 1, 2008


    Pelosi did as she promised; delivered the votes plus some. The Republicans didn't; not even Bush and McCain lobbying them to vote for it convinced enough to vote for the bill.

    This bill, in order to pass, had to have bipartisan support. That means roughly equal participation from both sides, or there'd be accusations of 'it was forced on us'. The Republicans decided their feelings were hurt and put their principles over the financial health of the nation. Try and spin all you want, but that's how it looks to everyone but diehard Republicans.

    Now the Senate's throwing more pork into a similar Bush Bailout Bill they are going to try and pass tonight, and almost certainly the Democrats will oppose it in the House. More monkeys on both sides yelling and throwing stuff at each other while the economy comes apart around us all.

  • gunny462 Oct 1, 2008

    " Pelosi promised 120 votes; she got 140. Republicans bailed out at the last minute and then whined it was her speech that insulted them."

    Reps didn't "bail out"

    Votes: Voting yes were 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans.

    Voting no were 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans.

    Interesting that 95 DEMOCRATS thought the bailout was another ACORN sweetener. House Speaker Pelosi can't even get her own party to back her.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Oct 1, 2008

    Who made the banking institutions make loans to unworthy borrowers? Your Federal Govt. They created this mess for the banks, now they have to fix it. All started with Jimmy Carter and loans for questionable people.

  • Fun Oct 1, 2008

    In their own words....

  • 5Rs Oct 1, 2008

    In order to save Wachovia, Congress needed to act immediately. They didn't, and we can't expect Congress, with their strategic mission and no operational capability, to do anything rational to save the country. In addition, the only thing they can do is throw (our) money at it, which can only delay whatever is going to happen. What we need are cheap energy and American ingenuity through job incentives, not more socialism.

  • SalemWWX Oct 1, 2008

    We should have seen this coming folks....Is there anyone here who hadn't noticed that you couldn't drive 5 miles without running across 3 to 4 brand new subdivisions or townhome complexes? Did you ever stop to ask yourself who was going to live in all those homes? That was a symptom of the underlying cause of all this...artificially high housing demand created by government intervention in the housing markets. Now they want 700 billion dollars to put a band-aid on a wound created by their "picking"....And the Dems are "graciously" saying there's no need for investigation into Fannie and Freddie, there's no need to fix blame...This from the same people that have made political hay out of investigating every blip on the political radar for the last eight years?
    It's a disgrace that these people have the nerve to ask the American people to elect them....