Bailout Defeated: Now Can We Get It Right?

Isaiah J. Poole

The House has just voted down the $700 billion bailout bill. We have not yet seen the roll call, but the numbers suggest that a significant bloc within the Progressive Caucus on the left and the Republican Study Committee on the right held firm against the legislation. (Thirty-two Progressive Caucus members, including the co-chairs Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee, both California Democrats, voted against the bill.)

Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said that House leaders will assess the “economic reaction” to the no vote in financial markets before deciding the next step. That gives us time to make sure that lawmakers hear not only what Main Street opposes, but what Main Street is for.

Specifically, we want more than a Band-Aid. We want real reform. We spelled out the principles in the “Call for Common Sense” backed by leaders of more than 30 organizations in the progressive movement.

Those principles were weakly reflected, if at all, in the bill that was before the House today. There is a chance now to go back to the drawing board and use our muscle to get it right.

“Ninety-five Democrats voted against the bailout bill because it did not do nearly enough for families struggling to pay the mortgage and who are teetering on the brink of foreclosure,” said Maude Hurd, the president of ACORN. “If a better plan comes back that will do more to assist struggling homeowners, it stands a chance of passing.”

David Sirota has a further analysis of why the bailout was defeated.


Updated 3:30 p.m. with Progressive Caucus vote total and statement from ACORN.

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