Economic Stabilization Bill Passes House, Bush to Sign

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 by a tally of 263 to 171.

Republicans who said they would switch their votes from "no" to "yes" included Rep. Howard Cobble, R-N.C., and Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C. In a statement, Myrick said, "We’re on the cusp of a complete catastrophic credit meltdown. There is no liquidity in the market. We are out of time. Either you believe that fact, or you don’t. I do."

Indiana’s Congressmen voted as follows:

Andre Carson (D)
Joe Donnelly (D)
Brad Ellsworth (D)
Mark Souder (R)

Dan Burton (R)
Steve Buyer (R)
Mike Pence (R)
Baron Hill (D)
Pete Visclosky (D)

Both Indiana Senators Richard Lugar (R) and Evan Bayh (D) voted for the bill in the Senate, where it passed 74-25.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., cast a reluctant “yes” vote.

“As distasteful as it is for Congress to take this action, doing nothing would likely make things much worse,” he said in a statement. “Once we have dealt with the present crisis, we must channel our anger into making sure this never, ever happens again.”

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., also voted for the bill.

“Failure to pass (this) legislation would lead to massive unemployment and failure of small business and farming operations in Indiana,” he said in a statement. “That is unacceptable.”

Chamber President Calls on Legislators to Restore Financial Markets, Consumer Confidence

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its more than 4,800 members who employ 800,000 Hoosier workers, urges the Indiana delegation and all members of Congress to swiftly and decisively reach agreement on a plan to stabilize our country’s financial system. 

“We recognize that the complexities of the situation are enormous and that any short-term solutions carry potential long-term implications. However, the negative impacts of the current economic uncertainty are guaranteed to increase beyond their current levels,” states Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “Rhetoric must give way to thoughtful progress. Now, more than ever, partisanship and politics must be put aside for the benefit of our state and country.

“The Indiana Chamber and its members are typically not in the position of advocating for government intervention in the free market system,” Brinegar continues. “Today’s unique circumstances, however, make it essential for our legislative and executive leaders in Washington to act now to restore our financial markets and consumer confidence.”

Wildly fluctuating stock markets and tightening credit markets will impact businesses of all types and sizes. Indiana companies, particularly small businesses, cannot be allowed to be decimated by inaction at the federal level, Brinegar says. The window of opportunity to act — effectively — is rapidly closing.

“Let’s settle the crisis now,” he concludes, “then utilize the excellent public and private sector resources we have to work on a comprehensive reform plan that, in the long term, protects our valued companies, their employees and all taxpayers.”