Hulshof votes no on bailout bill

Monday, September 29, 2008 | 7:21 p.m. CDT; updated 8:49 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 7, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Congressman Kenny Hulshof, Republican candidate for governor, voted no in Monday's U.S. House of Representatives vote on the $700 billion plan to bailout the U.S. financial system, which ultimately failed by a vote of 228-205.

Stocks plunged on Wall Street following the bill's defeat, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 777 points. Nasdaq dropped 9.1 percent, and the S&P index fell 8.8 percent.

Scott Callicott, a spokesman for Hulshof's Congressional office, said Hulshof felt the bill was excessive and gave too much power to Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Henry Paulson.

"The price tag of the bill is excessive, and he just felt that some other options could have been looked at along the way," Callicott said.

Callicott said the plan provided no short-term fixes, only long-term solutions.

Scott Baker, spokesman for Hulshof's gubernatorial campaign, said the plan "doesn't make the necessary changes to make sure we don't end up right back here again."

Baker said Hulshof would prefer a plan with better safeguards for tax payers and more balance in governmental authority to spend money.

Oren Shur, spokesman for Democratic candidate for governor Jay Nixon, said "in Washington, Congressman Hulshof helped create the economic mess we find ourselves in now, but Jay Nixon is focused on the people struggling in Missouri." 

Hulshof's opponent in the primaries, Republican State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, defended his vote, saying she wouldn't have voted for the bill either because it moved too fast and did not resolve the larger institutional problems.

"As far as the investment holdings that the state has, we don't have any exposure to those financial institutions that are in trouble, but the ramifications from the economy are going to be great, and they're not just from the actions that we've seen occurring in the last week," Steelman said.

Steelman has an economics degree from MU.

Both Sen. Barack ObamaSen.  John McCain, had given tentative approval of the plan. President George W. Bush gave full support to the bill and warned of an economic crisis if it did not pass.

Missouri's congressional delegation was split 5-4 in favor of opposing the plan, and did not split along party lines.

Congress will reconvene Thursday following the stock market's reaction to the day's events, said Danny Rotert, spokesman for Democrat Congressman Emanuel Cleaver from Kansas City. He said the new bill should focus on consumer protection over bank protection.

"Today the stock market tumbling gives everybody a little bit more urgency as to why we need to do this. It's just now figuring out the how," Rotert said.

Rotert said Cleaver thinks the bailout plan is the most important piece of legislation for the House of Representatives to pass since 1930, and legislation that large should not pass as a one-party bill. He said the vote showed there is not yet a consensus on the legislation.

Congresswoman JoAnn Emerson from southwest Missouri, one of two Missouri Republicans to vote in favor of the plan, said in a news release that the legislation's failure leaves behind a serious problem that requires a serious solution.

"The failure of this legislation means financial institutions, small businesses and Americans with pensions, retirement accounts and savings are still at risk from irresponsible actions on Wall Street," Emerson said.

State agencies said the national economic turmoil should not affect them financially.


Missourian reporter Jennifer Rogers contributed to this report.

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Charles Dudley Jr September 29, 2008 | 7:40 p.m.

Well all those that voted no on the bill must see something they do not like about it or something that was not included as a safeguard that should have been in there to begin with.

The American Tax Payers should not have to foot the bill anyways for the screw ups of corporate America! Those top CEO's have made billions from all of this so why not go after their assets to help bail part of this out.

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