News Brief – September 29, 2008
The US House of Representatives tonight voted against a $700 billion rescue package, sending the world's financial markets tumbling.
The House had been expected to pass financial bailout but it failed amid bitter recriminations.
Wall Street shares plunged sharply on the news, falling 5 per cent.
President George Bush has said the bill was necessary to help the US avoid "financial panic" and a "long and painful recession".
Earlier today, Mr Bush said that the bill would present a "difficult vote" for members of the US Congress, but he urged them to pass it nonetheless.
"A vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community," he said.
But when the critical vote was tallied, too few members of the House were willing to support the unpopular measure.
The bill which would have commited up to 700 billion dollars of taxpayers' money to supporting commercial banking interests, faced strong opposition and prompted protests in Wall Street
and across the US last week.
Paul Ryan, a Republican representative from Wisconsin, said: "We're all worried about losing our jobs.
"Most of us say, 'I want this thing to pass, but I want you to vote for it - not me'."
He added: "We're in this moment, and if we fail to do the right thing, Heaven help us."
John Boehner, the Republican minority leader, said: "Americans are angry, and so are my colleagues. They don't want to have to vote for a bill like this. And I understand that.
"But I have concerns about what this means for the American people, what it means for our economy and what it means for people's jobs.”
Many members of the House of Representatives were also critical of Nancy Pelosi, blaming a speech made by the Speaker for the failure to pass the rescue package.
According to the Republican minority leader: "I think that we need to renew our efforts to find a solution that Congress can support.
"I do believe we could have got there today, had it not been for this partisan speech that the Speaker gave on the floor of the House.
"The Speaker had to give a partisan voice that poisoned our conference, caused a number of members that we thought we could get to go south."
Tonight Mr Bush was reported to be "very disappointed" over the plans rejection.
Last updated 02/10/2008