As I suspected, the Republican leadership in the house double-crossed Pelosi (or simply couldn’t deliver their own members). They promised 90 votes from their side of the aisle; right now they have 66 Looks as if the bailout isn’t going to carry, though Pelosi (unwisely, I think) is pulling one of those illegal “keeping the vote open” maneuvers we so hated when Hastert used to do it.
Now’s the time to pull the bill, go back to committee, write a new bill financing the whole thing with a transactions tax, and pass it with only Democratic votes. It shouldn’t be a hard sell to make Wall Street pay for bailing out Wall Street. And the Senate Republicans and the White House are pretty much stuck with whatever the House passes.
If we had a President, his inability to get more than a third of his own partisans to vote for what he says is emergency legislation would count as a massive failure of Presidential leadership. John McCain, having flown back to Washington for no particular purpose, also has egg on his face. I can’t blame the Dems who voted against this; we got a majority of ours behind an Administration proposal, and they couldn’t get more than a third of theirs. No reason Democrats should walk the plank.
Update Yes, it’s over. According to NPR, Roy Blunt sat on his hands while his guys voted agaist it. Dem leadership doesn’t seem to have had a fallback plan in mind. May revote today.