Lucas votes 'no' on second bailout plan

Associated Press Published: October 3, 2008
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Rep. Frank Lucas was the only U.S. House member from Oklahoma to vote against the financial bailout plan that passed the U.S. House on Friday by a 263-177 margin.

Reps. John Sullivan and Mary Fallin voted against the bailout earlier this week, but switched to "yes" on the Senate-approved version.

Reps. Tom Cole and Dan Boren — the delegation's only Democrat — voted for the bailout for the second time.

Lucas said he could not justify voting for a complex plan that cost taxpayers so much money and was put together hastily without input from rank-and-file members of Congress.

He said most of his constituents were opposed to "rewarding the reckless behavior of Wall Street."

"This is not the fault of my folks in the 3rd District of Oklahoma. The bottom line is I hope it works, because if it doesn't, we'll be back in session in January or February and they'll be more of these ideas thrown out."

Fallin said she changed her vote because the bill had been improved and because failure of Congress to act could lead to economic hardship for Oklahoma citizens and businesses.

"If the instability in our markets continues, it could affect the economic security of every family and every business in Oklahoma. It is for that reason that I decided, in what is surely one of the most difficult decisions I have made while in office, to support the economic rescue package," she said.

Lucas and Fallin did not announce their positions heading into the vote. Sullivan disclosed Thursday that he supports the bill.

"While the Senate passed financial rescue package is far from perfect — in fact it is a bitter pill to swallow — I am convinced that action needs to be taken to protect the pensions, investments and ability of Americans to obtain a line of credit, and therefore I will vote to support the bill," Sullivan said.

The three reluctant Oklahoma Republicans had been under pressure to back the plan.

Lucas said among those contacting him were President Bush and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

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