Monday, September 29, 2008

Ryan says House Republicans reneged on handshake deal

Tim Ryan (D-17) offered himself up by phone this afternoon shortly after the bailout plan died, so I dialed in to ask a few questions.

If you haven't heard, the $700 billion bailout bill failed 228 to 205 with more than half of Democrats but only a third of Republicans providing support.

Ryan told me that a handshake deal was in place before the vote, but it fell through when it came time to vote. Under the agreement, Ryan claims that each side of the aisle agreed to provide about half of the votes needed to pass the issue so that the country and the markets would feel that it had bipartisan support.

"Otherwise we wouldn't have voted," Ryan said. "It can’t be that the Democratic Caucus jammed this through Congress. We gotta figure this out so we can get some more votes here and unlock these credit markets."

Ryan said that there was no way Democrats were going to provide all the votes to pass this bill just so Republicans could criticize it if it didn't get off to a fast start.

I asked Ryan about the "golden parachutes" for CEOs and whether the defeated bill adequately addressed fears that the rich would get richer, and Ryan admitted he wasn't completely sold on the language that covered CEOs but felt it was solid enough for the bill to go forward.

Still, the bill died.

"Obviously (Sen. John) McCain couldn’t swing the votes and the President couldn't swing the votes," Ryan said.

I asked Ryan if we're reaching the point where individual Dems might start calling individual Republicans, and he didn't rule it out.

"Maybe the Dems can put together our own plan and pass it. This may be (Treasury) Secretary Paulson's worst nightmare if he gets $700 Billion and all the oversight needed and the CEOs are limited as to what their pay can be, especially when the Republican leadership continues trashing (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi for not delivering."

Ryan said nothing will get done now until at least Thursday as Congress breaks for several days for Jewish Holidays. In the meantime, Ryan said he is just left shaking his head as to Washington's priorities.

"We were denied $35 billion for 10 years for health care for kids because we were told that we didn't have the money, and then to turn around and ask for $700 billion for this?" Ryan said. "That’s a hell of a pill to swallow."


Anonymous said...

Tim Ryan is a do-nothing partisan hack. His only talent is to criticize the opposition and offer ZERO plans of his own.

Gasoline was 2.17 a gallon when Democrats took control of congress, now where is it?

Why don't Democrats show some guts, write their own bill and pass it? They have the votes. Talk about failed leadership, ""we're not going to vote for it unless Republicans vote for it also!"""

There's some real leadership!

NEOBuckeye said...

Don't forget that Republicans hold the closest ties to Big Oil.

Anonymous said...

Tim Ryan admits this was a tough vote, but he voted for it because he didn't want to tank the credit markets.

The paychecks of most Ohioans depend on the ability of small business owners to get short term credit.

Tim Ryan understands that, so he voted for the bill. I wish our other congress people had also thought this through. This isn't about Dems v. Repubs or Main Street v. Wall Street. This is about whether your boss can get the credit to meet payroll.

Chris H. said...

If Pelosi hadn't spewed partisan rhetoric right before the vote, it would have passed.

Plain and simple, she cares foremost about her party, and the bruised ego GOP only cares about THEIR party.

NONE of them care about the country.

Vote against them all this November!

Anonymous said...

I say write in "Mickey Mouse" for president. It feels like he is running the country anyways.

Anonymous said...

I think what this article clearly illustrates is that Congressman Ryan, for such a young man, is starting to find his place in Washington. This is a future leader of Congress we have representing us. Not only can he relate to his constituancey, but he also sees the big picture and knows what you need to do to get results out of Washington.