The Possible Salvation of American CapitalismThe bailout of financial markets backed by the Democratic majority in Congress and by the Bush Administration failed in the House less than an hour ago by a vote of 205-228. The partisan breakdown showed Democrats leaning in favor of the bill, with 140 Democrats voting in favor. However, 95 Democrats voted against the legislation, and along with 133 Republican "No" votes, that bloc was significant enough to kill the proposal.
Members of Congress from both parties reported House switchboards lighting up all morning on Monday with complaints and demands from angry constituents, most of which were imploring members to vote against the bailout. Several House members reported to television media outlets that public outrage had as much impact on the final outcome of the vote as persuasion from fellow House members.
Republican leaders in the House blamed a wildly partisan floor speech by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) in which she blamed the Bush Administration for both the financial crisis and the bailout that she and the House and Senate Democrats helped negotiate with the White House as part of the reason for the measure going down to defeat. The rejection of the measure in the House could be viewed as a no-confidence vote among House Republicans on the tenure of House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio. Boehner had supported the bailout after first calling it a "crap sandwich," while an overwhelming majority of the Republican Caucus in the House voted against it. Boehner's future as Republican Leader after the November General Election is now a matter of serious speculation among the GOP rank-and-file.
The Dow is down at this hour -584.06.
House Republicans may have saved American capitalism today.