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Philadelphia Inquirer - Most Area Lawmakers Vote Party Line

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Location: Washington, DC


Philadelphia Inquirer - Most Area Lawmakers Vote Party Line

Philadelphia-area lawmakers voted largely along partisan lines on the $700 billion bailout plan, with only two local Republicans - Reps. James Saxton of New Jersey and Michael N. Castle of Delaware - supporting it and one Democrat, Rep. Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, opposing it.

After the 228-205 defeat of the bill, the one thing legislators agreed on was a need to remain in Washington until a rescue plan was approved.

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Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), who voted for the bailout, said the rescue plan was necessary to protect workers' jobs, pensions, home values, and health care.

He said those essentials were threatened by rising credit costs for employers as a result of the financial crisis.

"This economy cannot function without credit . . . and we're in the middle of a credit crisis," Andrews said. He said that if companies have to pay more to borrow money, they will hire fewer people, which will reduce demand for housing, prompting lower house prices and pushing the stock market lower. He called that "a recipe for disaster."

Andrews chastised GOP lawmakers for failing to produce enough votes to pass the bailout. He said the GOP was expected to deliver 90 votes and the Democrats 140, but the "Republicans fell far short."

"I do not believe this economic crisis is fictional or political," Andrews said, acknowledging the bailout of Wall Street "is a tough sell."

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