Monday, September 29, 2008

The bailout package fails to pass the House

It will come up again very soon, of course; but it failed on it's first try--and I applaud those conservative members of the House who voted against it on principle:

"Early in the House debate, Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas, said he intended to vote against the package, which he said would put the nation on “the slippery slope to socialism.” He said that he was afraid that it ultimately would not work, leaving the taxpayers responsible for “the mother of all debt.” Another Texas Republican, John Culberson, spoke scathingly about the unbridled power he said the bill would hand over to the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., whom he called “King Henry.”

I predict this defeat may be a good thing. The measure can be reconsidered, there can be further negotiations, and it can thus be improved. And conservatives in any case should never be happy with legislation that was, let's face it, rushed into, with some members of both parties hoping it would be passed with a whoop and a holler. That's not how good bills come about.

UPDATE: Ramesh Ponnuru over at NRO, for whom I have much respect, says this outcome hurts McCain.

I have to disagree. This is not a popular bill; I don't sense any kind of public support moving behind it. It seems rushed, hurried. What credit would there be for a bad bill? It's failure today doesn't mean we're at the end of anything. There's still time to improve the bill, and pass a better version; and Senator McCain should try to be at the forefront of such an effort. Besides, over 90 Democrats in the House voted against the bill; so it's failure simply can't be laid at the feet of the GOP, not with there being a Democrat majority there.