Bill Failure Is Big News

Broadcast networks break into regular programming, cable news channels jump on House's failure to pass $700 million financial-bailout bill.
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Cable news channels and broadcast networks jumped on the House's failure Monday to pass a $700 million financial-bailout bill.

Breaking-news graphics blanketed the cable airwaves, while NBC broke into regular programming for a special report on the bill.

CBS also broke into regular programming for several minutes. Randall Pinkston anchored (Katie Couric is on the campaign trail), and business correspondent Anthony Mason reported.

ABC broke in for several minutes, as well. Charles Gibson anchored, with Jake Tapper on the Hill and Betsy Stark on the set with Gibson in New York "only moments after the bill was gaveled dead," an ABC spokesman said.

Former House Speaker and conservative Republican Newt Gingrich earlier in the day sent out an e-mail advising his colleagues to bite the bullet and vote for the bill, although he had many problems with it.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had plunged 777.68 points, or about 5%, at press time, and Republican and Democrats were said to be huddling to decide their next move.

But it wasn't sounding too promising at press time. "I don't know that we know the path forward at this point," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a press conference Monday afternoon. Republicans accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of "poisoning" the bill.


Pelosi said in a press conference Monday that "where we go from here" is that "the lines of communications remain open....We delivered on our side of the bargain," she said, blaming the Republicans for the bill's failure.

CNN was reporting that there were no plans for a revote Monday in the House. Many expected the bill to pass narrowly in the House Monday, with the Senate taking it up by midweek.


The vote was 228 to 205 against, with about 40% of Democrats voting against it and two thirds of Republicans voting against. Both sides accused the other of blowing up what looked to be a deal.


That could mean no progress until Wednesday given the Rosh Hashanah holiday on Tuesday. Rep. Barney Frank, chair of the financial services committee, told the press Monday that he would not be available Tuesday.

There were reports that some of Republicans who were planning to vote for the bill and ultimately voted against it were turned by a floor speech by Pelosi, what Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called a "blame speech," that they felt was too critical of the administration. Frank said that he was "appalled" if that were the case, and that if he could have those 12 people's names, he would go speak "uncharacteristically nicely" to those Republicans.so they would not put "feeling over country."


Frank salso aid he thought that the Republicans were simply providing themselves cover for the fact that they didn't really have the votes. "You are watching a food fight in Congress," said Fox's Shepard Smith.


Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), who voted against the bill, told Fox News Channel that he was not miffed at Pelosi, but at a bill that did not have a sufficiently free market approach. He also said he didn't think there had ever been enough Republican votes to pass it and was surprised Pelosi had called the vote.


Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who also voted no, said that the media's focus had been on Wall Street, but that hers had been on main street. She said her no vote was becuase the taxpayer would be "the lender of first resort," which she said was a position "I could not support."


Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the minority whip, put some of the blame on the media, saying Monday in a press conference that every time he turned on the TV he heard press reports saying Republicans were being "unpatriotic."

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