Instrumental in today’s passage of the $700 billion ($850 billion with pork) bailout bill for Wall Street banks were Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama who, apparantly, helped round up votes in the house. Not to say it wouldn’t have passed without them, however, each is now trying to get in on some credit, be it good or bad.
Report from Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON – Presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain helped House leaders round up votes for Friday’s passage of a $700 billion financial rescue plan, and Obama’s role seemed particularly energetic, Democrats said.
Several lawmakers described receiving calls from Obama, who told them that, if elected, he would help hard-pressed homeowners keep their houses.
For nearly two weeks, Obama had kept more distance from the costly and contentious plan than had McCain, the Republican nominee. But when House leaders began their all-out push to convert members who had voted “no” on Monday, Obama called several wavering Democrats who ended up voting “yes” on Friday.
Obama “made numerous calls” and “helped us gather the votes on the Democratic side to pass this legislation,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., chairman of his party’s House caucus.
McCain had played a more visible role in negotiations last week. He temporarily suspended his campaign to return to Washington and asked for a White House summit meeting, which turned into near chaos.
On Friday, the McCain campaign and House GOP leaders said McCain called several Republican lawmakers this week, urging them to back the legislative package after the Senate reworked it. But few House members publicly described such calls, and at least one said hers never came.
“They told me he was going to call me,” said Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C. “He didn’t.”
“I may lose this race over this vote, but that’s OK with me,” Myrick said of her re-election bid. But voting yes “is the right vote for the country,” she said.
Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., who also switched from “no” to “yes,” said he spoke with McCain earlier in the week. McCain’s campaign declined to name others he had called.
Numerous lawmakers said it’s far from clear that the bailout plan will work, and politicians who support it may have a lot of explaining to do if it falls flat. But Obama and McCain have thrown in their lot, and Democrats seemed especially eager to describe Obama’s role.
“He called me at my home Tuesday night,” freshman Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, told reporters. “He didn’t try to convince me that I had to change my vote.”
Instead, Braley said, Obama asked about his concerns. “He wanted to talk about his vision for moving forward with Congress” on economic and housing issues, he said.
Video of McCain giving a statement on today’s passage:
Report from Fox News on Obama’s efforts in the House:
So if you supported the bailout plan, be of good cheer since both Presidential candidates helped to pass it through. If you’re on the other side of this discussion, then you might as well be looking at a third-party if this issue is make or break since both major candidates are on the same page.