Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Louisiana lawmakers help kill bailout plan

Most House members from Louisiana voted Monday against a massive $700 billion bailout of Wall Street.

The House vote Monday to reject a $700 billion financial rescue drew a swift and pointed reaction from Wall Street: the largest one-day point loss ever in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Only two of the Louisiana delegation's seven members - Reps. Jim McCrery, R-Shreveport and Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville - voted for the plan, which failed

"I just don't think the Treasury Department should be in the real estate business," said Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, who voted no.

He questions who would manage the acquired assets and how cash-strapped banks would meet the bailout's requirement that they purchase insurance to cover future losses.

Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and Don Cazayoux, D-New Roads, also voted against the bill.

The bailout has angered many Americans, who flooded lawmakers with calls, e-mails and letters in opposition. As of Friday afternoon, the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu,
D-New Orleans, had received 1,200 calls. Most were critical of the plan, said Landrieu's press secretary, Stephanie Allen.

The Senate won't consider the bill unless the House approves it in another vote. Landrieu is undecided, but Sen. David Vitter, R-Metairie, said Monday he plans to vote against it.

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