- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
Lawmakers reverse bailout votes
Question of the Day
Boosted by a change in the tone of the angry calls flooding their offices, enticed by added tax breaks or just scared by Monday’s calamitous stock market plunge, nearly five dozen lawmakers switched their votes Friday to pass a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street.
Just days after the House defeated the first version of the bailout, those who switched said the intervening time convinced them that action now on an imperfect bill mattered more than waiting to get just the right measure.
“Monday I cast a blue collar vote,” said Rep. Zach Wamp of Tennessee, one of 25 Republicans to switch from “No” to “Yes.” “Today I’m going to cast a red, white and blue collar vote with my hand over my heart.”
In addition to the Republicans, 33 Democrats also were against the bailout before they were for it. Their newfound support came despite the addition of $150 billion in tax breaks that weren’t entirely offset by spending cuts or other tax increases.
When it became clear the measure would pass, dozens of lawmakers on the floor began to applaud - though not everyone was prepared to accept the vote as the end of the saga.
Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio Republican, vowed vengeance on Republicans who helped block his amendment to cut the bailout to $250 billion, and to strip out some of the tax breaks.
He said he will work to embarrass the 20 Republicans who joined Democrats in a procedural vote that ensured he wouldn’t be able to offer his amendment. He said he will take as his inspiration Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain’s vow to make “famous” those lawmakers who include pork-barrel projects in spending bills.
“For those 20 Republicans, and those that aided and abetted them, we will make you famous,” Mr. LaTourette said. “Shame on you.”
But Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Democrats’ point man for the bill, said that list should include Mr. McCain, who voted for the bill in the Senate on Wednesday, and pushed his House colleagues to support it.
Mr. Frank worked hard to convince Democrats the bill was not as bad as portrayed Monday. He repeatedly held colloquys with lawmakers on the floor Thursday to answer questions and establish a legislative history of what Congress intended.
That helped sway those such as Rep. Donna F. Edwards, Maryland Democrat, who wanted to make sure the bill’s authors told the Treasury secretary to use some money to prevent foreclosures.
She and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, many of whom switched their votes, said talking with Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama helped convince them.
“I appreciate the personal commitment that Senator Obama made to me that we will work to provide direct relief to homeowners facing foreclosure by enabling home mortgages to be dealt with in the context of personal bankruptcy,” she said.
Mr. Frank had help from unlikely places. Those on both sides mentioned an influential appeal from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, who said his state was having a difficult time floating a short-term loan needed to help the state make its payroll.
Rep. Howard Coble, North Carolina Republican, said after Monday’s stock market calamity that phone calls to his office, which had been nine to one opposed, flipped.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lois Lerner emails reveal gaping open-records loophole
- Two-thirds of illegal immigrant children approved for asylum: report
- Top Justice official denies conspiring with IRS on tea party targeting
- Boehner: No bill on border surge
- Taking Obama to court a long shot but lawsuit not folly, Congress is told
Latest Blog Entries
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- Doctor, 2 others shot at Pennsylvania hospital: reports
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq