How Bay Area lawmakers voted on the bailout
East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher presided over the historic vote Friday on a $700 billion rescue plan. It was a much different outcome from the vote she announced this past Monday.
The plan passed by a healthy margin of more than 90 votes. Here's how the Bay Area delegation voted:
Representatives Anna Eshoo, Mike Konda, Zoe Lofgren, Jerry McNerney, George<, Jackie Speier, Ellen Tauscher, and Nancy Pelosi all voted "yes," as they did on Monday.
Representatives Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, and Mike Thompson switched their votes from "no" to "yes."
Representative Pete Stark of Fremont was the Bay Area's only holdout.
This week, California lawmakers heard the really bad news that not only would the credit markets freeze business on Wall Street and Main Street, but it was threatening to shut down schools, nursing homes, food programs, and anything paid for by state and local governments.
On the House floor Friday morning Speaker Nancy Pelosi stressed the urgency is clear.
"In my own state of California, officials, including the governor, are urgently calling for federal legislation to avoid economic catastrophe. Catastrophe," Pelosi said.
Oakland Representative Barbara Lee said she had heard from the state treasurer.
"And he assured me people will suffer greater pain including cuts to critical state funded social services, county services and schools if we don't do something to stop the hemorrhaging," Lee said.
"Folks, what this means is the state of California, the eighth largest economy in the world, will not be able to meet payroll by the end of this month unless we take action to unfreeze these credit markets," San Jose Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said.
Of the four Bay Area lawmakers who voted "no" on Monday, only Health Committee Chairman Pete Stark refused to switch, comparing the crisis to the run up to the war..
"You're getting the same kind of misinformation now, the same kind of rush to judgment to tell you that a crisis will occur. It won't. Vote "no." Come back and help work on a bill that will help all Americans," Stark said.
In the end, the vote was overwhelming in favor.
"More than anything else it was that there was a more mixed public reaction this time," ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain said.
Professor Cain says a week ago lawmakers were swamped with phone calls and e-mails opposing the bailout.
"Even though Congress shouldn't take these biased samples of who calls their offices, they do. It's human nature," Cain said.
After another week of financial meltdowns, calls started to come in this week from business interests demanding Congress members do something.
"It gives them a chance to say, well, this maybe isn't completely opposed by public opinion, maybe I can survive and vote for this bill," Cain said.
The politics of the bailout have put Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain in an uncomfortable position. He voted for the bill and he encouraged House Republicans to vote for it after so-called sweeteners were added to make the bill more palatable. Another word for some of those sweeteners& earmarks.
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