Oregon Democrat: Bailout Bill A 'Fake Lease'

Correction Sept. 30, 2008

In some versions of this interview, we said that 65 Democrats voted against the bill. In fact, 95 Democrats voted against it.

The House of Representatives rejected the $700 billion bailout plan Monday. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) was one of 228 lawmakers who voted against the plan — and said he was stunned it failed, even though he voted against it.

DeFazio told NPR's Melissa Block that there are "credible alternatives out there," and "this was never a slam dunk."

"It was a fake pay for — a fake lease," DeFazio said. "It said five years from now a president will propose to Congress a way to pay back the taxpayers. That's ridiculous. There could be a real sea on stock transactions that would pay for the cost of this bill.

"It did take away golden parachutes, and then instead it gave execs camouflage parachutes — you know, loophole written. The Republican insurance part was very dangerous, and it still gave phenomenal clout — unprecedented clout — to this treasury secretary and appointee of George Bush. And should we trust these people as far as we can throw them?"

As the final votes were tallied and the markets dropped, a few members of Congress were trying to get those who voted "no" to change their vote.

DeFazio called the pandemonium "absurdity."

"How could anybody change their vote on something as important as this?" he said. "I hope everyone voted on whatever side they were on with tremendous conviction. I told them to calm down a little bit. Markets go up, markets go down, you know, we can come back with a more reasonable proposal."

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