Talk about bipartisanship…
From the Baltimore Sun:
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings wanted more help for homeowners facing foreclosure. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett didnt want to reward the “bad behavior” of irrational lenders and borrowers.
From opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two Marylanders reflected the range of opposition to the $700 billion financial bailout package rejected yesterday by lawmakers.
“The thing that bothers me more than anything else about this deal is the imbalance,” said Cummings, a liberal Democrat from Baltimore. “It says to me, Let’s do all these wonderful things for Wall Street. But I’m worried about the guy on Madison Avenue in Baltimore.”
“You can’t privatize losses and socialize profits,” said Bartlett, a conservative Republican from Western Maryland. He said the bill didn’t do enough to protect individuals and banks that had “played by the rules,” and pointed to legislation he has introduced to expand deposit insurance.
Congressional leaders of both parties had pushed House members to support the proposal to buy up the bad mortgages and other toxic debt that has imperiled the flow of credit. President Bush was calling lawmakers before the vote to lobby personally for its passage.
But 133 Republicans and 65 Democrats joined to sink the plan, sending all sides back for more negotiations. Opposition among Maryland lawmakers provided a microcosm of the overall vote yesterday, with most members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other liberal Democrats joining many of the most conservative House Republicans in rejecting the plan.