Ill. congressmen weigh in on bailout

How did Ill. congressmen vote on the bailout bill?
September 29, 2008 5:52:07 PM PDT
The House of Representatives defeated the $700 billion bailout bill. That sent financial shockwaves through Wall Street. The Dow Jones average dropped 777 points, its biggest one-day drop in history. The House plans to reconvene Thursday to try and craft another bailout package.

But the financial markets and consumers face another week of uncertainty and probably more turmoil.

It was a stunning defeat for the bailout bill, which had the outspoken support of the lame duck president and both presidential candidates. In fact, congressional leaders of both parties as recently as late Sunday, predicted the bill would pass early enough during the day to head off any major losses at the New York Stock Exchange. Their predictions did not come true as the Dow Jones suffered its biggest one-day loss in history.

Nine Illinois Congress members, or half the state's 18-member delegation, joined the majority against the bailout. Most of the "no" voters were self-described conservative Republicans.

"The voice of the American people was heard. People did not want to be responsible for $700 billion in debt that they did not cause," said Rep. Donald Manzullo, (R) Rockford.

Four Illinois Democrats opposed the $700 billion measure. They included the South Side's Jesse Jackson Jr., who said the bill should have included relief for homeowners in or near foreclosure.

"It is my hope that Congress will go back to the drawing board and passes legislation that not only helps the predators but also helps the victims of this financial crisis," he said.

Last week, the president urged Congress to authorize the treasury to purchase the bad mortgages and other failing assets held by troubled banks and financial institutions so those companies could resume making loans at reasonable rates. Without federal intervention, the president argued, shrinking credit could cause a "deep and painful" recession.

"No matter what we do, the economy will get worse before it gets better. The question is when it gets better and how bad it gets is determined in part whether or not we get this bill and a series of other actions completed," said Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial economist.

The Illinois anti-bailout Congress members want changes in any future bills to be considered by the House. The leadership could introduce a different rescue package later this week. In the meantime, the cooperative tone heard from Democrats and Republicans over the weekend has degenerated into bitter partisanship.

"They told us of the dire consequences, and we responded, not as Democrats, but as Americans," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, (D) Chicago.

The Senate will consider its version of a bailout bill Wednesday, with the House planning to consider another version Thursday. The major immediate concern is the foreign markets.

Here' s how Illinois congressmen voted on the bailout bill, which was defeated 228-205 (one not voting):

Democrats For:

Bean

Davis

Emanuel

Foster

Gutierrez

Hare

Schakowsky

Republicans For:

Kirk

LaHood

Democrats Opposed:

Costello

Jackson

Lipinski

Rush

Republicans Opposed:

Biggert

Johnson

Manzullo

Roskam

Shimkus

Not Voting:

Weller


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