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.