Partisan Finger-Pointing Begins Immediately

House Republicans emerged from the vote angry, and quickly directed their frustration toward House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), blaming her final speech before the vote for its failure.

"Right here is the reason I believe why this vote failed and this is Speaker Pelosi's speech," Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said, wielding a text of the speech in front of the cameras. He described it as having struck a tone of "partisanship that was, frankly, inappropriate in this discussion."

In her speech just before the vote, Pelosi referred to the $700 billion price tag of the rescue package, and said: "It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush Administration's failed economic policies -- policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system."

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) deflected attention away from his own failure to secure more Republican votes, saying Pelosi's remarks "poisoned our conference" after some wary conservatives were already on the House floor.

"Some of them were reluctantly there anyway; it didn't take much to turn them off," House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said. Cantor noted that 94 Democrats voted against the bill, and all three Republican leaders cast it as a failure of Democratic leadership, barely acknowledging that 135 Republicans voted against the bill.

But Democrats - noting that it was Republicans who failed to deliver their share of the votes - dismissed that claim as absurd.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) - mocking the Republicans for voting no "because somebody hurt their feelings" - offered to take the names of the 12 Republicans who had switched their votes because of Pelosi's speech and go "talk uncharacteristically nicely to them," Frank said, drawing laughter.

He said the Republicans were blaming Pelosi in order to "cover up the embarrassment of not having the votes."

Democrats across the board said they had acted in concert with the White House to bring about about a deal that could pass with a majority in both parties.

"The legislation has failed; the crisis has not gone away," Pelosi said in a news conference shortly after the Republicans spoke. "We must work in a bipartisan way to have another bite at the apple."

In comments after the press conference, Frank said it now is up to the White House to bring GOP lawmakers into line.

"The administration has to do a check to see whether there's fundamental philosophical opposition" to the central approach of the Paulson plan, Frank said. "Until we know that, it will be hard to shape a new plan."

-- Anne E. Kornblut

September 29, 2008; 4:03 PM ET  | Category:  business
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Pretty dumb of her to say what she did. Pretty dumb of McCain to say what he has. Pretty dumb of at least 4 dems from the Houston area voting against it just because (I am sure) their constituents called them and said they were opposed. Voting with oil I can understand. Voting against the public, I can't

Why did this have to happen in an election year?

Posted by: David R | September 29, 2008 4:08 PM

The story all along was whether or not the House Republicans would get on board. I thought the Bailout bill was a crock of sh*t. But I understood the need for it. I guess the GOP doesn't understand the difference between partisanship and patriotism. WHen it came time to do the right thing, they chose partisanship.

Boehner knew that was the storyline, knew he couldn’t deliver the votes and so that’s why he commented that Pelosi’s speech turned them off.

Even a Republican should be able to understand this one.

Posted by: Preparing to watch my 401k evaporate | September 29, 2008 4:11 PM

Always trust a politician to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Queen P needs to stick to butting into International Affiars where she is more then qualified to render an opinion.

Posted by: zendrell | September 29, 2008 4:12 PM

What about the 95 Dems that voted against this bill? Are they worried about their political lives?

Posted by: fedup | September 29, 2008 4:13 PM

Gotta love Barney Frank ... too bad he can't run for President.

Posted by: Bill Monroe | September 29, 2008 4:14 PM

We were warned that Bush would be bad for the "middle class" and sure enough that's what's happened.
She was right to say that this is HIS FAULT.
This whole thing is a FARCE, plain and simple.
I don't care if the whole thing goes in the crapper.
I was just looking at the voting record of the congressman who "represents" me, Nathan Deal - He is, without a doubt, a KOOK.
Plain and simple - KOOK KOOK KOOK KOOK KOOK.

Posted by: Tomhere | September 29, 2008 4:17 PM

Thank God for Nancy!

Posted by: jrichard | September 29, 2008 4:19 PM

Let's hope Eric Cantor gets run over with a truck...preferably the Brink's hauler making its daily trip from Shelly Adelson to AIPAC-Likud Party Mission Control in D.C.

Posted by: Mark | September 29, 2008 4:22 PM

This is not Pelosi's fault and nothing she said wasn't true. It takes a lot of nerve to ask someone you've locked out of the very policy decisions that created a mess to help you clean it up. I have no idea what you call it when that same mess maker simply does nothing and walks away.

Posted by: Espresso | September 29, 2008 4:23 PM

At which point in time are Republicans going to start taking responsibility for something, anything? I find it ludicrous that the party that demands personal responsibility from pregnant teens, addicts and out-of-work citizens can't find a way to take responsibility for one thing that happens -- except when it's "Mission Accomplished" or some other such idiocy.

If you don't like the bill, fine. Then write one you do like. But, stop blaming everyone else for everything. And stop whining.

Posted by: BJAlexa | September 29, 2008 4:24 PM

So, let's get this Republicans were all set to vote for the bill as the best solution to save Americans from imminent financial ruin, but Nancy Pelosi gave a speech they didn't like, so "nanny, nanny boo-boo" to all Americans and no bill for us today!

Posted by: klindsay | September 29, 2008 4:25 PM

Voters should take a hard look at the Republicans whose votes on the bailout were changed because their feelings got hurt. That speaks very poorly of those Congressmen's ability to make a reasoned decision based on facts instead of emotion. I guess this is what happens when politics is visceral (literally, from the gut).

Posted by: PG | September 29, 2008 4:26 PM

Unbelievable, Boehner is the biggest baby I've ever seen. They are saying the killed the Dow 700 points because they got their feelings hurt.

This is happening exactly because it's an election year, by the way. They are all scared to vote.

Posted by: David | September 29, 2008 4:38 PM

I am sickened by Pelosi and her ignorant remarks. If she had an ounce of brain & a spit of courage she'd admit where the problem REALLY began. I'll give you a hint, can you say Carter? Enough already with the blame they are all to blame. who the h*** has been manning the store for the last two years?

Posted by: Cathy | September 29, 2008 4:39 PM

Of all the childish impulses...just because the repubs. didn't like what Pelosi said in her speech, that was cause for them to vote down??? How infantile of them. I still do not think the bill was all it should be. All of the idiots running these companies should stand to lose more than a golden parachute. This industry does need regulation, if you have not believed this up to this point, you had better take a long, hard look at it now. All people, homebuyers, lenders have a responsibility to stay within their means and live responsibly. But lawmakers need to grow up and do what is right to straighten this mess out. Quit the name calling, the finger-pointing. GROW UP, ACT MATURE, DO THE RIGHT THING. No big pay for these execs who are not worth a dime to begin with.

Posted by: Blynne | September 29, 2008 4:39 PM

Cathy, please STFU. You're about as ignorant and uninformed as Sarah Palin.

Posted by: Alex | September 29, 2008 4:40 PM

Umm... Dem leadership got 60% of their members to vote "yes." The GOP leadership got 33% of their members to vote "yes." Seems like the GOP has some work to do internally. Also speaks poorly of both Bush and McCain that the two largest names in the party cannot muster more than 1/3 of their members to get in line.

Posted by: Numbers | September 29, 2008 4:43 PM

What angers me is the rank cowardice of the GOP. If they oppose it, fine. Man up and admit that you opposed it for principled reasons. But don't run around saying that you opposed it because Nancy Pelosi said bad things about George W. Bush. Hell, I bet Pelosi didn't say anything more incendiary about Bush than McCain has.

It's time to flush the toilet of conservative Republicanism once and for all. The movement is over. Kaput. Birthed in 1964 and attaining power in 1980, the conservative Republican movement has officially ended on September 29, 2008.

Good riddance.

Posted by: Elrod | September 29, 2008 4:45 PM

I normally would not even acknowledge the likes of comments such as yours. However it is you who needs to do their homework I already have & anyway you spin this it began with Carter, festered under Clinton & errupted under Bush.

Posted by: Cathy | September 29, 2008 4:50 PM

Obama and the Dems control Congress.
Why could Obama not control his own party?
Why does Gay Barney think Republicans should take a political hit that Dems won't?
Do Pelosi and Dodd regret their dissing of McCain and Bush and the Republicans?
Maybe the b's should have STFU and tried a less partisan attack if they wanted bipartisan support?
It all comes back to the fact that the Dems control Congress.
They failed to pass their bill because Obama couldn't herd those cats!
Really, what good has two years of Dem control done?

Posted by: JamesT | September 29, 2008 4:59 PM

If you want, you can go back to Nixon and the creation of Freddie Mac. The mortgage-backed security market helped make this happen. Community Reinvestment Act loans had little or nothing to do with this because there was no requirement to offer subprime loans. CRA loans followed a different scheme and got government backing under a different plan.

If you want to know who the irresponsible borrowers are, look at exurbia. Young families bought houses in the exurbs without sufficient equity. Their ARMs reset and with declining housing values they folded.

Look at how many foreclosures there are in places like Pasco County, FL or outer Clark County, NV (Las Vegas). Some of these are minority buyers, but most are white.

Posted by: Elrod | September 29, 2008 5:00 PM

"Some of these are minority buyers, but most are white."

Elrod, why should Cathy consider the possibility that the failure to ensure basic standards for credit rating agencies allowed mortgage-backed securities to become a massive asset class for investment banks?

It's so much easier for certain Republicans to blame minorities than to think about law or economics. The process by which shaky mortgages became AAA-rated securities is complicated. Pointing the finger at those two favorite scapegoats -- Jimmy Carter and poor people of color -- is an old, simple habit.

Posted by: PG | September 29, 2008 5:05 PM

For an illustration of the Know-Nothing-But-Hate attitude, see JamesT above. Instead of offering an intelligent critique of how Frank's ideas for the bailout made it politically unpalatable for conservatives, JamesT talks about Frank's sexuality. It's always easier for a certain type of Republican to go on a personal attack than to use reason.

Posted by: PG | September 29, 2008 5:08 PM

Barney Frank nailed it on the head with his comment.

Also, the Rs really need to get a thicker skin. Everything is sheer agony for them.

In pratical terms, I think Pelosi's comments might have been aimed at getting wary Dems on board. For all the Rs complain, people lose sight of the fact that a Wall St bailout (or rescue) is wholly anti-Dem. This is a hard sell on both sides, and against a lot of deeply engrained beliefs on both sides.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 5:10 PM

We must remember that McCain said two weeks ago that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. Then McCain went on a roller coaster rider for almost two weeks. After no relationship with DC, he decided to put his campaign on hold to "put country first."

Today, McCain declared victory for his efforts before Congress balked at passing the recovery bill. This reminds us of the McCain campaign projections that McCain had won the debate a full 12 hours before the dabate.

The Republican spin is unprecedented. Pilosi had said at the outset that if the bill were not supported equally by both Republicans and Democrats, it would be defeated. The Democrats gave 60% toward the affirmative vote while the Republicans that had McCain's input gave only 33%.

The Republicans try to spin that McCain was responsbile for an increase in 63 votes as opposed to only 3 votes before McCain showed up. Quite frankly, hardly anyone, either Republican or Democrat, was for the original proposal coming from the White House. When McCain showed up, the bipartisan negotiations were well underway with no one being polled during this process as to the vote.

Anyone with a thinking brain will notice the improbability of McCain's position.
McCain mocks Obama for "monitoring the situation" when McCain was doing nothing until he parachuted in last Thursday. To accuse Obama of making only phone calls when McCain was actually doing nothing is total garbage.

McCain lies through his teeth. He cannot help himself.

It is so obvious that McCain has been waiting to see which way the wind was blowing before he would jump out and try to pretend to lead. McCain is a phony.

Posted by: EarlC | September 29, 2008 5:10 PM

If this was as important as most have said, the House had no choice but to pass it. And the Democrats cannot blame the Republicans. We have about 40 more votes than they do. We could have passed it without any of them. This was not about principle. It was about "I want my cushy Congressional job." What crap from our alleged "leaders."

Posted by: Kent | September 29, 2008 5:11 PM

Let's blame a Democratic Congress. Well, the Dems have been trying to clean up all the mess that Bush created. Unfortunately, at every turn, there is another pile of mess to look at. The Bush house of cards is falling. The fall started before 2004 but they pulled the "security" and "we're at war" cards and won 2004. Now we see the collapse. It is real. It is of the Republicans own doing.

Posted by: EarlC | September 29, 2008 5:16 PM

And so we are clear, it was the Democrats who demanded that the CEOs and other big money makers would have to forego their unbelievable golden parachute deals. Pres. Bush? Why the idea never occurred to him. Even with some of the changes, the idea of bailing out Wall Street is about as unappealing a deal as I can think of. The subprime mortgages? Accepting so much of them drove some lenders under. Those who "led" these lenders shuold be glad they are not going to jail. Everyone was happy when they were making money on the bad loans. Those of us who did not benefit from or ask for the bad loans do not like paying for the mistakes of others. At least not for the New York Wall Street crowd.

Posted by: Kent | September 29, 2008 5:17 PM

I just heard McCain. He paraphrased Obama's comments from last week. So much for leadership. Vote Obama and get it right the first time. While McCain has been spinning, Obama has been working.

Posted by: EarlC | September 29, 2008 5:18 PM

As a long-time Democrat who is a fiscal conservative and who believes in personal accountability, I am absolutely flabergasted by the Republicans who are trying to blame the Democrats for not formulating the legislation that "they" will support to get their necks out of the noose. These are the same Republicans who are arguing now for McCain as the Republican who can get it right after 8 years of disaster. I have never heard one political party argue so hard on all sides. They must not have a party platform.

Posted by: EarlC | September 29, 2008 5:25 PM

Who keeps voting Barney Frank in? I am a Blue Collar Dem from PA and find it hard to believe this yahoo has the brains to tie his shoes in the morning. We put him up to be the face of the Party at this moment. Are you kidding me?

Posted by: DChief | September 29, 2008 5:25 PM

Republicans haven't fielded an opponent against Barney Frank since 1992. If DChief believes that Frank is a "yahoo" who lacks "the brains to tie his shoes in the morning," I wonder what he thinks about those of us who haven't gotten undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard nor taught there. By his standards, DChief is in a world full of stupid.

Posted by: PG | September 29, 2008 6:16 PM

Let me see now:

Republican President seeks emergency bailout
Republican Treasury Secretary sent to persuade Congress
Republican owned financial institutions at risk
Republican administration’s economy crumbling
Republican candidate for president claims he saved the day
Republican members of Congress kill the bill
Republicans at all levels blame Democrats

Posted by: It Can't Be Our Fault--Can it? | September 30, 2008 9:22 AM

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