Crowley's Attempt To Turn The Bailout Tide Falls Short
In a last-ditch effort to try to turn defeat into victory and get the $700 billion financial industry bailout passed, Congressmember Joseph Crowley rose from his seat as the vote on the package was ending in the House and shouted: "The market is going down 600 points!"
But the desperate warning that the vote against the doomed plan was setting off a panic at the New York Stock Exchange was too late to remedy the situation. No one responded to Crowley's yell and the Wall Street rescue plan went down to defeat by a 228 to 205 vote.
Crowley and his colleagues in the New York delegation remained loyal to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had been an architect of the bailout plan. But even President George W. Bush was unable to stanch the flood of "no" votes cast by rebelling Republican lawmakers.
The only defector from the New York delegation was Congressmember Jose Serrano, a Bronx democrat whose district is the most poverty-stricken in the U.S.
Yesterday the opposing sides on the issue, which threatens a meltdown in the world financial community brought about by the subprime mortgage mess, savored their victory or licked their wounds as the Congress went into a two-day recess to observe the Jewish New Year holiday.
Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake are poised to resume talks with congressional leaders aimed at getting the bailout plan back on track, perhaps with some revisions that might attract some of Tuesday's opponents.
Among those calling for a renewed bipartisan effort to halt the economic crisis was Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. The New York lawmaker said in a statement: "This really comes home [in New York state]. We have tens of thousands of people who run businesses across our state who can't get the credit they need to stay in business and we have thousands and thousands of employees."—John Toscano