Clinton Plans To ‘Hold My Nose’ And Vote For Bailout

Using stark language, New York U. S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton called on Congress to “take a deep breath” and come back to work Thursday ready to approve a plan to solve the nation’s financial crisis.

On a conference call with reporters statewide Tuesday, Clinton said the surprising failure of the bailout bill on Monday left small businesses unable to get credit to keep operating, tightened credit to families trying to fund a college education or a mortage, and placed the nation, and even the world, at risk.

She urged passage of a bill by the end of the week, “to put the brakes on…a mounting economic crisis.”

Democratic and Republican leaders brought the bailout bill to the floor of the House of Representatives Monday afternoon, each side having represented to the other that there were enough votes to pass it.  The bill failed, as 40% of Democrats voted against it and 66% of Republicans voted no.

North Country Congressman John McHugh voted in favor of the bailout.

Financial markets around the world sank immediately after the vote ended.  One estimate indicated that the 777 point drop in the New York Stock Exchange drained more than a trillion dollars in wealth.  It was the largest one-day point drop in the exchange’s history, though the 9% loss was not the largest percentage loss ever.

Clinton said she was not happy to have to vote in favor of a bill bailing out “those who we believe contributed mightily to the problem. But there is no choice.”

She said she favors a plan that would repay the government or give it a share of a bailed out company’s future profits; would rewrite unworkable mortgages; would stop what she called the “cascading of defaults and foreclosures as interest rates reset; would freeze adjustable mortgage rates; and would return strict regulation to the market.

But Clinton also acknowledged that it will be difficult to add anything to the bill that was defeated in the House.  “Anything proposed must have bipartisan support and must bring additional votes,” she said.

She said the Senate has offered to pass the bill first, then send it to the House.

Clinton acknowledged that her office is hearing from constituents who are strongly opposed to the bailout.  Congressional offices report calls running as much as 100 to 1 against the bailout.  But she said that the ripple effects of the financial failure will be severe “if we don’t stop the fall”, as local government revenues shrink, businesses close and jobs are lost.

“I’m holding my nose and voting for (the bill),” she said. “Because I want all the places around New York not to suffer the consequences.”