'Bailout' Bill goes down on Capital Hill - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

'Bailout' Bill goes down on Capital Hill

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

September 29, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The U. S. House of Representatives voted down the $700 billion financial bailout plan Monday afternoon. 

More than two-thirds of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats opposed the bill. Instead of adjourning for the year, House leaders say they'll reconvene on Thursday.

So how did Georgia Representatives vote on the plan? All but two of them voted against it. Those two supporters represent many South Georgians, Congressman Sanford Bishop and Congressman Jim Marshall. Today, we spoke with members of Congress about the bailout bill and what it means for you.

There were three major deal breakers for Congressman Jack Kingston. For starters, the $700 Billion dollar price tag. Secondly, Wall street firms who want private profits backed with public security. But mainly, no regulatory fixes.

"This throws a life jacket to Wall Street, but it doesn't teach them to swim and prevent this from happening again and there are some things that we should do about that."

But he doesn't know if a government intrusion is the right step. "I think that Washington can tell the world and tell Wall Street, we want to help with the solution, but we're not going to bail you out completely because of bad judgement and we need a permanent fix, not just something that's going to get us through the next couple of months."

But the rejection of the bill stalls it. Senator Saxby Chambliss says inaction is not an option. "Doing nothing is going to have a direct impact on every single Georgia in the short term, also in the long term. So it's important that we take the right action, but it's important that we take action."

If not, the unemployment rate, already at it's highest level in Georgia in 15 years, could continue to climb. "What's going to happen if we do nothing, is we're going to see that unemployment rate go significant higher."

Senator Johnny Isakson also said Congress must act, calling the bailout a rescue. "We're at a time where Congress can take action or take no action and I think it's obvious if we take no action, what happened in the last three weeks will continue and that's unacceptable for the long term economic health of the United States of America and to a large extent, the free world."

Stocks plummeted on Wall Street before and during today's vote. The Dow finished with its biggest-ever one-day point drop, more than 775 points.

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