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CBS "Early Show" - Transcript

Interview

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MR. SMITH: We want to talk to a couple of members of Congress who voted yesterday on this massive $700 billion bailout package.

We're joined by Representative Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, who voted nay, and Representative James Moran of Virginia, who voted in the affirmative.

Let me first start with Representative Blackburn. Why did you vote the way you voted?

REP. BLACKBURN: Well, let me first say we're committed to finding a resolution to this. And I think that by week's end we will have a solution to this problem. There are some reasons that I cast a no vote yesterday. This was too much bailout and not enough workout in this plan. It also was $700 billion and an immediate $250 billion blank check. The federal debt limit was raised to $11.3 trillion in this bill. And there are some other things that could and should be done first and should be done in conjunction with the actions that were taken yesterday -- increasing --

MR. SMITH: Let me ask you this very quickly. Yeah, there's so much involved in this, but let me ask you very quickly --

REP. BLACKBURN: Yes, there is.

MR. SMITH: -- you make the vote. The stock market goes down 700 points. Do you feel in any way responsible for that?

REP. BLACKBURN: We are all very concerned about the total picture, and have been. And that is why we've worked diligently all throughout the week and will continue to work this week until we solve this problem. This is something you can't leave on the table and leave Washington. This is something that affects every man and woman, every family in this country. And I have a commitment, and I know that those that are negotiating have a commitment. We are going to solve this problem. We have to.

MR. SMITH: Okay. Congressman Moran, let me ask you, you voted in the affirmative, yet at least 40 percent of your Democratic colleagues voted against that. How are you going to convince them that they should change their votes?

REP. MORAN: Harry, I'm surprised it was that high. This is a Republican bill. It was the Bush-Cheney administration, with Secretary Paulson, who offered it. Getting 60 percent of the vote was pretty impressive. What was shocking was that the Republicans voted against it, two-thirds of them. I mean, I don't know where the leadership was. The Democrats were willing to hold the vote open so that the president could call members and get them to switch their vote, but it didn't happen.

You know, maybe if the market falls another 1,000 points, maybe they'll get some --

MR. SMITH: Congressman, though --

REP. MORAN: -- (inaudible).

MR. SMITH: Hang on a second. It's easy enough --

REP. BLACKBURN: Harry, this is not a partisan issue.

MR. SMITH: -- to blame it on -- hang on one second. Well, let's just hang on a second. It's easy enough to blame it on the opposition. Democrats are always seemingly going to be happy to vote for putting on more debt or making government bigger. All you needed was another dozen votes or so. How come the Democrats couldn't come up with them?

REP. MORAN: Well, you know, Speaker Pelosi had said to Minority Leader Boehner, "If you can put 110 votes up, we'll match it. We will at least do half of this task." But we don't want to own this bill. This is your bill. If it's our bill, we want to put in some mortgage protections to help out the homeowners as much as we do Wall Street. We want to pay for the bill so we can do other initiatives rather than financially strapping the country for the next decade.

There are a number of things the Democrats wanted. But nevertheless, they realized the urgency of the situation, and so almost two-thirds of them went ahead and voted for it. What we need to do now is to make this bipartisan, to get at least half of the Republicans as well. And I thought that would happen. It didn't. And now I think you'll see continued crash. The key day is today. It's the last day of the financial quarter.

REP. BLACKBURN: Harry, may I articulate a few --

REP. MORAN: And as a result, there are a number of businesses that could go under without being able to get a cash infusion today.

MR. SMITH: All right, for the time being --

REP. BLACKBURN: Harry, this is a grave situation.

MR. SMITH: -- we have to leave it exactly -- it is a grave situation. And for the moment we're going to have to leave it right there.

REP. BLACKBURN: And there are some things that we can do, some actions to take.

REP. MORAN: Well, we should have done it, and we should have done it when it needed to be done, Marsha. There's really no excuse.

REP. BLACKBURN: We will have it done by week's end.

MR. SMITH: Congresswoman, Congressman, thank you so much; do appreciate it.

REP. BLACKBURN: We're committed to finding a solution.

MR. SMITH: We're going to leave it right there for now.

REP. BLACKBURN: Thank you.

MR. SMITH: We will be watching, believe me.


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