Sunday, December 14, 2008

Auto Bailout Bill Failure - Democrats Should Start Admitting Responsibility

The media, UAW leadership and Democratic congressional leaders have attributed Thursday's failed auto bailout bill to southern Republican Senators voting against the legislation. I can understand why people have concluded that Republicans caused the bill to fail. The bill required 60 yes votes to be considered, and failed by a 52 -35 roll call vote, with 31 Republicans voting against the bill. However, in looking at the voting data in the table below, I conclude the Democrats have equal or greater responsibility.

Here is the breakout of the overall votes:

Senate Vote for Considering Auto Bailout Bill
Party Affiliation



Did Not Vote

















According to an Associated Press article $14B auto bailout dies in Senate, "Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called the bill's collapse 'a loss for the country.'" To me, it seems that the eight Democratic Senators who did not vote for to consider the bill would have given the bill the 60 vote count needed for consideration. Ironically, Reid was among the four Democratic Senators that voted no (Baucus, Mont.; Lincoln, Ark.; Reid, Nev.; Tester, Mont.). Three out of the four that did not vote (Biden, Del.; Kennedy, Mass.; Kerry, Mass.; Wyden, Ore.) were also a surprise to me.

As noted Political Ironies from the Financial Crisis, the Democrats need to understand that they're in charge now and are accountable for future results, whether they act or not.

For a detailed break out of the vote by party affiliation, see this article . For a breakout of the vote by state, see this article.

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This is not financial or political advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


Anonymous said...

dude.. stop showing your ignorance.. it was Reids bill.. he had to vote against it in order to be able to reintroduce it if needed...

Wes said...

You think that the 8 Democrats that abstained or voted down the bill are more responsible than the 31 Republicans that voted against it?

Pretty easy to figure out your political bias...

Super Saver said...

@ Anonymous,

Thanks for the clarification.

A benefit of the financial crisis of 2008 for me is learning more about the rules and actions of Congress. I would never have found out (or wanted to know) that one had to vote "no" on one's own bill as a way to preserve re-introduction. For example, I just did an Internet search for "reintroding a bill in Congress" and didn't find this information you shared.


OK, I agree, the post may have over stated the degree of responsibility for effect.

However, I do think the Democratic majority needs to get used to being held accountable going forward. After all, there won't be a Republican adminstration to take the blame in the future :-)