America’s rudderless ships of state sailed themselves onto the shoals of shallow governance Monday. The wreckage was a failure heard — and felt — ’round the world.
The House of Representatives’228-205 rejection of a bipartisan plan to rescue the shattered U.S. economy was a sudden, simultaneous failure of not just one, but three of our democracy’s ships of state: Leadership, Follow-ship, and Citizenship.
The 133 Republicans and 95 Democrats who voted down the $700 billion bailout of the credit markets also succeeded in wiping out $1.2 trillion in shareholder value on U.S. markets as Wall Street had its worst day since the crash of 1987. Not bad for a few minutes work.
Top congressional and White House officials, stunned when the House rejected a massive rescue plan for the nation’s economy, scrambled to structure a new bailout proposal that would attract reluctant lawmakers and still soothe the unnerved financial markets.
"Doing nothing is not an option," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said after seeing the $700 billion emergency package for the nation’s financial systems fail 228-205 on Monday.
The House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the nation’s financial system, ignoring urgent warnings from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties that the economy could nosedive into recession without it
Stocks plummeted on Wall Street even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was announced on the House floor.
Federal prosecutors changed their plans and said they would not put their star witness on the stand Monday in the corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.
Instead, the Justice Department said it plans to continue the parade of witnesses from oil pipeline company VECO Corp., which allegedly provided more than $250,000 in free renovations on the senator’s home.
US lawmakers agreed a 700-billion-dollar bailout for debt-stricken Wall Street banks and sent the legislation aiming to stem the US financial crisis for Congress to start voting on Monday.
A compromise package, unveiled Sunday after tense negotiations between rival party leaders and White House officials, will go first before the House of Representatives.
The plan, anxiously awaited by world markets, is not yet certain to be approved however.
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and leading lawmakers early Sunday reported "great progress toward" reaching an unprecedented 700-billion-dollar Wall Street bailout plan before markets reopen, saying the accord would likely be finalized later in the day.
So, folks, here we are on the brink of financial disaster caused by incredible mismanagement from the titans of Wall Street. What do we get from the titans of Washington?
We get a lot of yelling, finger-pointing, mind-changing, politicking, game-playing and a plan to make the taxpayers pick up the tab for over a trillion dollars, counting the Bush administration plan for buying up bad mortgages, shoring up failing financial institutions and bailouts for AIG, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
In congressional parlance, a continuing resolution is usually described as a stopgap funding measure allowing the government to continue functioning while Congress catches up on its required financial paperwork.
Congress promised quick action on a plan to buy up toxic assets, such as bad mortgages, held by troubled banks and other institutions, hoping to lift the nation out of its worst financial crisis in decades.