Inslee bucks his party and votes against the Wall Street bailout

Rep. Jay Inslee on Monday helped kill President Bush’s $700 billion bailout of some of the nation’s biggest financial institutions.

The Bainbridge Island Democrat’s vote in the narrow, 228-205 defeat ran counter to the urgings of both parties’ leaders.

“For all the talk of protecting the taxpayer, there were only limited promises that the taxpayers’ $700 billion investment would be paid back and there were no provisions to help struggling homeowners,” said Inslee in a statement released shortly after the House vote.

“If we authorize $700 billion in a bailout for Wall Street, we must ensure – and not just hope – that all the money gets paid back to the American taxpayer. The plan we were presented with did not do that. Also, I saw no real provisions in the revised plan to help stem the real cause of the crisis, which is the collapse in our housing markets. We needed a pro-growth bill to stimulate the economy, and that was not what we got.”

Rep. Norm Dicks, the other Congressional representative in Kitsap County, supported the bill.

In a story in today’s Sun, the Belfair Democrat said he had no choice but to support the bill and head off the economic disaster Bush has predicted.

Monday’s stock market decline in response to the bailout failure was “a very strong indication that those people who voted against this better re-examine their positions,” he said.

Inslee said he’s hopeful that Congress will regroup for an improved proposal.

“…now is the time for Congress to come together again and vote on a real, comprehensive plan that will solve the crisis while still protecting the taxpayers and restarting our economic growth,” he said. “I am prepared to stay here and in session as long as it takes, and I know many of my colleagues in Congress feel the same.”