Colorado's congressional delegation split -- and not along party lines -- in their votes Monday on the failed $700 emergency bailout for the nation's financial system.The prickly issue didn't go down party lines.
Democrat Diana DeGette: 1st District, voted YES. Democrat Mark Udall: 2nd District, voted NO. Democrat John T. Salazar: 3rd District, voted NO. Republican Marilyn N. Musgrave: 4th District, voted NO. Republican Doug Lamborn: 5th District, voted NO. Republican Tom Tancredo: 6th District, voted YES. Democrat Ed Perlmutter: 7th District, voted YES
Musgrave, who opposed the Bush administration's original bailout proposal, said she wanted to see a "workout, not a bailout," that restructures mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and changes accounting rules to more accurately reflect companies' earnings. She said the plan should have guaranteed taxpayers would be repaid. "I think inaction is not an option," said Musgrave, who is running for re-election in a district that represents parts of northern and eastern Colorado. "I'm willing to work as long as it takes to find a solution and do it right." Salazar said there was no guarantee taxpayers would be repaid for the bailout. Udall, who is running a closely watched race for the U.S. Senate, said there needed to be what he called "durable reforms" for financial institutions and markets. "It's not acceptable to spend $700 billion to bail out the boat, with no assurances that we will ever fix the hole," Udall said in a written statement."A stronger version should be brought before the House. There needs to be an improved oversight structure, including representation from Congress. There needs to be more effective relief for homeowners facing foreclosure. The legislation must avoid using the same excessive credit practices that created the very problems we are working to fix," he said. Lamborn called the bill "an invasion of the free market" and said privately funded mortgage insurance should be used to stabilize the market. Tancredo said he voted for the package even though most constituents who contacted his office opposed it. Without a bailout, he said, people who have lived within their means will end up paying for the excesses of others. He compared the economy's problems to a fire started by a careless smoker. "We could refuse to call the fire department and take solace in the fact that the careless smoker will lose everything -- but if we do not act, the embers from the fire caused by his irresponsibility may land on homes throughout the neighborhood," Tancredo said. Tancredo, who is not running for re-election after a failed presidential run, said he hasn't received support from Wall Street interests. DeGette said failing to pass a bailout will hurt everyone from those trying to get car loans and to small business owners trying to pay their employees. Perlmutter said that while the measure did include limits on executive pay, its failure provides a chance to negotiate a better plan. Overall, more than two-thirds of Republicans in the House and 40 percent of Democrats opposed the bill.