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Donna Edwards Vote "No" on Bailout

While her fellow Marylander Majority Leader Steny Hoyer exhorted the House of Representatives to approve a $700 billion bailout plan, Donna Edwards voted against the plan.

"This legislation would have done little to help the hard working people in my district," Edwards, who represents parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, said in a statement.

Edwards was among the 228 members of congress--94 of them Democrat--who rejected the plan, sending congressional leaders scrambling to draft a new plan. Edwards has some ideas for that:

"We must take steps that do not burden the taxpayers such as putting more regulation on the market, restoring a sensible accounting system, valuing these toxic assets with their value today and restraining short sellers who are just trying to make a quick profit. This bill did not do any of those things."

Edwards was the only Washington area lawmaker who voted nay on the plan. Edwards was elected in a June special election to fill the seat held for Democrat Al Wynn, who resigned after Edwards defeated him in the February primary.

By Phyllis Jordan  |  September 29, 2008; 2:51 PM ET
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Congressman Cummings, a Democratic Congressman from Baltimore, also voted Nay.

Posted by: PG'er | September 29, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

How did all our Congresscritters from MD vote?

Posted by: Name Names! | September 29, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Edwards, Cummings, and Bartlett voted nay. Everyone else voted yea.

Posted by: votes | September 29, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Donna Edwards, we sent you to the Congress to make smart votes. Unemployment will rise and credit will freeze. Small businesses need to make payroll. Students need loans. Housing prices will be devalued. Got cash to buy your next car? You will have a short-lived legacy in House.

Posted by: Saddened in the 4th | September 29, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

You need to support this - the "hard working people of your district" are going to be without jobs by the end of the week unless something gets passed. we need it to save jobs and credit - school loans and other needed sources of money.

Posted by: get a backbone! | September 29, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Seems to be a smart vote for her -- there's not a lot of Wall Street wealth needing protection in her district, (nor really any big job-producing corporations needing loose credit), but lots and lots of foreclosures, which the bailout doesn't do much to reverse.

Posted by: tjh | September 29, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I think tjh has it basically right, although there are potential long term political dangers to Edwards, depending on how the economy goes, and whether her 2010 opponents (probably corporate "Harold Ford" type Dems) can link her to future problems.

She beat Al Wynn in the 2008 primary in large part over personal finance issues, including increasing numbers of foreclosures and bankruptcies in Prince George's, so she was just reciprocating loyalty to the folks who voted for her in MD-04. Her 'No' vote was especially defensible in her District, at least in the here-and-now, since House Republicans refused to sign on with House Dems who were trying to introduce homeowner mortgage relief provisions in the bailout bill.

Unless WaPo has it more conveniently available, see the letter (at the URL below) released by Brad Sherman (D-CA) on behalf of the "Progressive Caucus" of House Democrats who opposed the bill as proposed - Edwards was a signatory to this letter. At this Website are links to images of each of the 3 pages of the Caucus letter:

Posted by: MurlandGuy | September 29, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Tjh above, makes a fair point.

But what’s good for Donna in her constituency, is not necessarily good for the country. I am not a constituent, but have been a supporter. I disagree on this issue.

There are no cheap or easy options in this mess, all options are difficult. So, it behooves our leaders to adopt the smart and principled options. When we elect people to county and state positions we expect them to act under that remit.

When we elect people to congress we expect them to act in the national as opposed to district interest, unless there is a conflict between national and specific district interest. I’ll bet Donna would be hard pressed to explain what conflict exists between the bipartisan leadership desire to resolve the crisis, and the concerns of the majority of her constituents.

When right wing republicans and left wing democrats join forces to defeat a bill, against the center consensus position, albeit for different reasons, it’s a sure sign that neither are acting responsibly.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | September 29, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Just read Steve Pearlstein’s column in the Post September 30, 2008, headlined. “They Just Don’t Get It”. He reinforces the skepticism I have about the nay voters in congress. Am I a genius or what? See here.

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | September 30, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Hooray for Donna Edwards. Economist Nouriel Roubini, who has been sternly warning for years that this moment was swift approaching, gives his opinion as to why the whole Paulson approach is wrong at . The power that this legislation would put in the hands of the Secretary of Treasury are unconstitutional. Congratulations to Congresswoman Edwards for a courageous vote. Practically speaking, how are we going to be better off by ceding what is left of our democracy to the very people who have run our economy down? The timing of the crisis was decided by the Bush administration. It could have been dealt with better years ago. By pointing a gun to our heads, they want the people to endorse a handing over of all meaningful power and wealth to a few special interests. The rest of us are going to get hammered any way. If we withhold our approval until the people who have made the billions are forced to take their share of the burden, they will be more reasonable. The improvements won by the Democrats in the version of the bailout bill voted on were window dressing; the anti-bailout Republicans are responding to the 100-1 opposition to the bill, and their dishonest ideology that tries to find a way to characterize shoveling billions to the already wealthy as 'free market.' This dishonesty just clouds the picture.

Posted by: Alex Winter | September 30, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

This "bailout" legislation needs more control and oversight provisions. There is very little in the current plan to prevent Bush Administration Appointees from dishing out billions to their friends.

The GOP plan is even worse, full of tax breaks for the wealthy and elimination of capital gains taxes.

Obama's suggestion is a good start, an increase in bank deposit insurance will promote saving, but much more is needed. Even if it drives up the price of the bailout, it MUST be done. I'd rather have a trillion dollar plan that secures America's economic future than a 700 billion dollar plan where the money just mysteriously disappears when this administration leaves town.

Bush and Paulson's (Mr. Goldman Sachs) initial "bailout" plan should be viewed with GREAT SCRUTINY!

Posted by: Donny | September 30, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Thanks a lot for voting a no .
This bill is just such a stinking deal.I saw someone write here that people will not get loans .why won't they if Govt. should give tax deduction to people who pay principle ,This will encourage people to pay back the loan and banks will get money .In this way govt encourage good behavior to pay down debts .
We do not want our hard earned income to go to the washington biggies and wall street biggies who get free money to open another hedge fund and not responsible for the accounts.We do not want to encourage banks to give bad loans out of our own money in future .All the big financial companies were big because they got an opportunity and took advantage of the market .Thats what made America a great country ."Survival of the fittest"
We want to reward people who want to become big in future and help the economy by taking advantage of the market .Warren Buffet has taken advantage of the market and I believe is one of the smartest man on earth
We do not want to help the CEO and other people who will get rewarded for making bad decisions for years and the biggies get money .If you are young market is bound to bounce back .If you do not help these folly makers , market will bounce back with smart people and that will not be a temporary coverup like this .That will help the economy .
For old people , I assume 90% of their 401k investment are in fixed assets .why is there such a crisis if we can wait and not panic .Some big CEO will loose jobs .They already make in millions .We cannot be resposible for giving their salaries .
If Govt wants to help , it should directly help in the mortagaes not try via failed companies and via those same people whose actions put us in this crisis whose the mistakes they made made day after day

Posted by: MM | September 30, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Also I want to add a thing .Some political personell I was hearing was debating that caps be made on CEO salaries and the Govt said that will curb their motivations .
We can already see what those millions of dollars that they got motovated them for .

The Bailout Is NOT Limited to $700 Billion; Paulson Could Spend UNLIMITED Taxpayer Money .Specifically, Paulson's draft bailout plans says:

"The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time."

That means that Paulson could buy a couple hundred billion worth of assets one day, sell them, and then the next day buy another couple hundred billion, and so on.

The maximum price tag?

There is no maximum. Paulson could literally spend unlimited taxpayer monies. And remember that Paulson has already broadened the proposal to include the purchase of non mortgage-related asset
This means that $700 billion is NOT the cost of this dangerous legislation, it is only the amount that can be outstanding at any one time. After, say, $100 billion of bad mortgages are disposed of, another $100 billion can be bought. In short, these four little words assure that there is NO LIMIT to the potential size of this bailout. This means that $700 billion is a rolling amount, not a ceiling.

So what happens when you have vague language and an unlimited budget? Fraud and self-dealing. Mark my words, this is the largest looting operation ever in the history of the US

Posted by: MM | September 30, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: MM | September 30, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

To follow on my comment from earlier, what follows are links to images of each of the three pages of the letter from the 'progressive caucus' of Democrats against the original bailout proposal (as well as the much longer but otherwise similar actual bill introduced & defeated on Monday). Brad Sherman (D-CA) spearheaded this effort, and Donna Edwards was one of the signatories.

Most computers these days should be able to open up these images, although you may have to zoom on them to be able to read the contents (look for a magnifying glass icon at upper left, and click on that). Even then the text is a bit small, but since my eyes are old, hopefully most folks will find the reading easier.

Page_1 of letter:

Page_2 of letter:

Page_3 of letter (with signatures):

Posted by: MurlandGuy | September 30, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I salute all the congressmen who has voted against the bill .Wake up America .

As Reagon always said "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

I do see thats what is happening .

All the people of Wall street (Treasury secretary Paulson , former CEO of Goldman Sachs).He kindof trying to earn money .
I understand the presidential candidates gets money from wall street for their election campaign .So no body wants to talk against it .Talk show hosts are just trying to scare you .They are all going to make money except us small people who if the bill passes , an unelected member (Treasury secretary) actually gets unlimited power in his hands to waste taxpayer money .
Even if we suffer a bit still I want smart people when the market rebounds , whom I can trust for the sole reason that they survived this market .
Otherwise we will be investing in some wastefull assets for a bill where the term "asset" is also not clearly defined .
If market is down by more than 700 points in one day its because we are panicing , not because something bad has happened .It takes just one day to recover from that .Its ugly , but it does not take time to recover.
When you give un-capped financial power in someone's hand , there will be nothing but corruption .
when there is no details of what assets govt is going to buy , then who keeps an account of "why, how and where" govt is buying .

This people just wants to make money for themselves at the eleventh hour before finally waving a good buy .They did not do anything when small people suffered because they will not be able to make money out of them .

Prosperity blooms when you are "out of" debt and not when you are "in" debt.

I would like to end with the last paragraph in Reagon's speech.

"The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God's help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans."

Posted by: rk | September 30, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Finally, the majority of the house followed the will of the majority of the people! This can be remembered as a true democratic moment! What's so sad are the politicians who support this dung pile and most TV news shows are still using the same scare tactics and guest experts who almost to a man support this bailout! Why aren't we hearing from the experts who are offering something else that can really guarantee credit access to the qualified, create jobs and allow these greedy investors their just desserts?

Posted by: DONNIE BAKER | September 30, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Finally, the majority of the house followed the will of the majority of the people! This can be remembered as a true democratic moment! What's so sad are the politicians who support this dung pile and most TV news shows are still using the same scare tactics and guest experts who almost to a man support this bailout! Why aren't we hearing from the experts who are offering something else that can really guarantee credit access to the qualified, create jobs and allow these greedy investors their just desserts?

Posted by: DONNIE BAKER | September 30, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Politicians support this pile as they get money for their campaign from these people .

I was watching a couple of TV shows yesterday .They were trying to make those congressmen look bad , who actually did the right thing by voting this down .

I have read columns of many economist and I think that foundations of our economy is still good .We will survive this odds.I would support this bill if every term and details in this plan was outlined .

I am not even able to judge whether this is good or bad as nothing is defined in details.This plan just seems to me like someone wants to make a company of his own with taxpayers money and not be accountable for the spending .
Its such a bad decision even to give loan to people with bad credit .What these investors did was gave them loan with higher interest rate .
If a person has a record of not paying back the loan (with bad credit score) , do you think they are going to pay back those hundres and thousands of dollars .How does it matter to them what interest rates bank charges .

There is a big flaw here .Some investors even gave money to people at big interest rates who did not even have a social security number .What a pity !
And now the govt instead of tightening banking regulations wants to give them billions of tax payer money without any regulations.

And there is no presidential candidates who showed the courage and said"hey I do not support the bill in this form "

I really pray that God put some senses in our leaders

Posted by: Ronnie | September 30, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

While I am running against Donna in November, I commend here courage to vote against her leadership on this vote.

I have been warning of this collapse and it is the primary reason I am running for Congress. View the video of me warning of the collapse on my website this was filmed many months earlier.

Donna's work is not over Congress must now provide relief to the working folk from the bankers excesses.

Congress has the power to issue money directly from the US Treasury instead of borrowing from the private Fed banks.

If Congress would spent US Notes into the economy by providing states infrastructure money either as interest free loans or even direct payments, we would return to prosperity. Why must we pay interest on our money? Makes no sense.

We must kill the fed and the debt money system.

Please google and watch the "Money as Debt" video.

Ms. Edwards you done good onthis one. They are going to try again in a few days. Hold your ground.

Posted by: Peter James | September 30, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Congress people(pc) Edwards, Cummings, and Bartlett for voting nay.

I am a small bussiness owner (liquor store)and the biggest complaint I hear from my customers are inflation. The beer and liquor distribution companies are pounding the locate retailers with price increases (I know it's not their fault).

I believe if we pass this bailout, the inflation (price increase) will be so high that it will completely devastate the lower/lower and middle/lower class population.

Also any really well designed business should have enough assets, capital and good management to weather this finacial turmoil. I do understand the pain other business are going through, my business has also fallen 30%. The businesses that are having finacial problems are the ones that have keep burrowing money to stay afloat (they need to fail so other bussiness can fill their void).

I believe it will be very difficult for everyone initially, but it will be far graver if the bailout passes. We are currently in a credit bubble, just like the housing bubble it will eventually burst.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think you have a better understanding of the problem than Warren Buffet? He and many other sage voices say they will hold their nose and support the bill. They acknowledge it is not ideal. Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good.

A no vote hastens the day that your constituents credit cards wont work at the gas pump. Do you want to be even partly responsible for that? If you vote no, that will happen long before they are unable to get a new car loan or are foreclosed upon. Turn,lady,turn!

Posted by: Count Bobulescu | October 3, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Well I guess I spoke too soon. Donna caved.

Her praise for the increase from $100K to $250K savings account insurance does do a thing for 95% of the households in her district. Now such a provision restricted to just small businesses makes more sense to help insure payrolls will be met. But this does help in the real world because once the FDIC runs out of money. We may be waiting 6 months or more to get any of the garuanteed money.

Please go to my website and read some of the articles on how the money system actual works. Also, spend 45 minutes watch the "MOney as Debt" video. I have been asking Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen to watch it for a year now. It explains the problem.

If the voters had elected me in June we might not now be the wage slaves to the bankers.

The bankers now own wall street lock stock and barrel, they have unlimited money creation powers so the can drive any stock to the moon and oull in loan and shrink the money system to crash each stock.

Half the country in now living in public housing.

This bill seals our doom. We must do as Jefferson, Madison, Jackson and Lincoln did and repeal the monopoly charther allowing the banks to create our miney out of thin air and loaning it back to us at interest.

Watch the video ! Learn how the system works. Do think they taught you in school. Do believe what the banker owned media tells you.

The guy who says Warren Buffet knows more than Donna Edwards was right of course. But Buffet wants all the money you have, in additon to his purchase on Goldman Sachs he also owns a lot of Bank of America and Wells Fargo in addition to other foreign banks.

You think buffet is anyone's friend?

Goldman paid him big time to come in and sell this thing.

All these supposed "financial experts" are they guys that created this mess while pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars. Paulson got $500B of ill gotten gains from these derivatives tax free.

Note that there are over $1.3 quadrillion of known derivatives. They are growing at a rate of 20% to 30% each year.

This bill did zero to correct any of the systematic flaws in the system.

This bailout is only a portion of taxpayers money that has been spent on this crash in the last few moths. By my calculations the US taxpayer has spent over $2.2 trillion so far not counting the $5.5 trillion worth of questionable Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac mortgages.

We were told that the taxpayers got the stock in AIG but as far as I can tell the Federal Reserve Banks own it along with some of the Bear Sterns assets.

Contrary to popular belief the Federal Reserve Banks are privately owned corporations and pay a 6% dividend to there stockholders each year. They are not our friend it is there goal to take all our real wealth.

Posted by: Peter James | October 4, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

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