House downs bailout plan; Wisconsin Congressional delegation mixed
The U.S. House has rejected the proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial services industry and Wisconsin Congressman were mixed.
The vote was 228-205 Friday afternoon, as lawmakers turned aside urgent pleas from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., of Janesville, gave an impassioned speech before the vote. He said the plan needs to pass, but members were afraid voters will throw them out for it come November.
"We're all worried about losing our jobs ... Most of us say, I want this thing to pass, but I want you to vote for it - not me," he said.
Even as the roll call began, leaders were not sure if they had the votes to pass the bailout - an unprecedented federal effort to buy up bad loans from cash-starved financial houses.
The goal was to free up a massive tightening of credit, but Wisconsin House members of both parties said it was just too much to stomach. U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., of Menomonee Falls, said it was wrong to put the rest of us at risk for Wall Street's failings.
U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis., of Appleton, said it would only help the failing financial houses, with no benefit at all to the average taxpayers.
Both U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., of La Crosse, and U.S. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., of Wausau voted for the measure.
The president and Federal Reserve chief disagreed, but it's too late for them and there was no immediate word on what would happen next.
Meanwhile, stocks plunged just before the final tally was announced.