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Democrats say Obama key in bailout vote switch
October 3, 2008
Several Democratic members of the House of Representatives Friday said calls from Barack Obama helped convince them to switch their votes and back a 700 billion dollar Wall Street bailout.
Maryland Democratic representatives Donna Edwards and Elijah Cummings said they had both received calls from the party’s White House nominee, after voting against the original package in the House on Monday.
“It meant a lot to me that somebody who at least has a 50-50 shot at being the next President of the United States would take time,” Cummings said.
Obama said during the call that he would push attempts to reform bankruptcy laws to help ill-fated homeowners escape foreclosure, Cummings said, but stressed urgent action to save the US financial system was vital.
“We will work on this, but right now we have got to straighten this out,” Cummings quoted Obama as saying.
Edwards said that Obama reached out to her on Thursday morning, as she was considering how she would come down in Friday’s looming vote.
The bill was defeated on Monday by 225 votes to 208, a setback which sent stocks marks diving. The House was on Friday considering an amended version drawn up by the Senate and adopted by that chamber on Wednesday.
“I had a very good conversation with Senator Obama yesterday morning, and I had to weigh on that the entire day in coming to this decision,” Edwards said.
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