It was a decisive outcome, but no one’s doing a victory dance.
“The 74-25 vote I thought was very strong.”
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison barely stopped moving as she made her way out of the Capitol after the evening vote.
“We might not have liked everything in the bill, but we are the Congress of the US and our financial system is at stake and we had to take the first step.”
Like every member of Congress, Senator John Cornyn has been besieged by a largely outraged community of constituents.
“They’re mad and I’m mad, too. But once you get over being mad, the question is what do you do to help fix an economy that’s in a downward spiral?”
Like Hutchison, Cornyn voted for the bill. He says it offers more than the original Bush administration proposal in the form of tax payer protection and oversight. Still, Cornyn says the massive economic intervention may make the financial crisis shallower and shorter — but it won’t eliminate it.
And – the plan still has an image problem.
“Anything labeled a Wall Street bailout is going to be a loser, because I’m not in favor of bailing out Wall Street, but I am in favor of bailing out Main Street and I think that’s now what this bill represents.”
Earlier this week, Texas lawmakers overwhelmingly voted against the House version… which failed by a narrow margin. This bill comes bundled with popular items like tax credit extensions for renewable energy. Hutchison thinks it may fare better with Texas Congress members when it goes to the House for a vote in the coming days.
From Capitol News Connection, Elizabeth Wynne Johnson, KUHF-Houston Public Radio.