Voting on the Bail-Out
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, made it clear that he wasn’t criticizing anybody for voting against the massive rescue plan defeated by the House a few hours ago.
But, he said, “The easy vote was a ‘no’ vote. Politically, that was the easy vote. But we still have to get something done.”
Cole was one of two Oklahoma House members to vote for the package. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, was the other.
Cole attributed the vote to a few factors:
_ “The whole thing happened too fast,” he said. The Bush administration came to Capitol Hill less than two weeks ago with a huge proposal just as lawmakers were prepared to head home for the elections and wanted something done quickly. “You need a longer legislative process” for something of that magnitude, he said.
_ Large segments of both parties were philosophically opposed. Liberal Democrats wanted more for housing groups and people facing foreclosure and conservative Republicans didn’t want to interfere with the free market.
_ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered some Republicans with anti-Bush comments during her speech today on the House floor in favor of the bail-out.
Cole said the bill should have started in the Senate, which was much more likely to approve the package. That would given the bill some momentum, he said, while also giving House members longer to absorb it.
Boren said he was surprised when the vote started tilting against the package.
“Normally, when there’s a big vote like this, vote counters have a good grasp” of what’s going to happen, Boren said.
Trying to change votes on the House floor while the vote was still open just wasn’t working, Boren said, because there were too many votes to change. The final vote was 205 to 228.
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