Most-Rural Representatives Backed the Bailout Bill

house of representatives thumbThough Congress originally voted down the financial bailout bill, the representatives from its most rural districts narrowly supported the measure; two more came aboard on Friday.

Shuster and WElch

Rep. Bill Shuster (left) of Pennsylvania and Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont, both from ultra-rural districts, changed their votes on the financial bailout, supporting the amended bill last Friday.
Photos: Congressman Bill Shuster (left) and Getty Images (right)

The Congressional bailout out of the nation’s financial system, signed into law on Friday, passed with the support of the nation’s most rural representatives.

The original version of the bailout bill failed in the House; HR 3997 was voted down 205 to 228. But the Daily Yonder finds that U.S. Representatives from the nation’s 25 most rural districts (based on the 2000 Census) voted in favor of the first “rescue package." Representatives from the most rural districts narrowly approved the original bailout legislation, 13 to 12, last Monday.

The amended version of the bailout legislation, HR 1424, crafted by the Senate, passed in the House on Friday 263 to 171. Only two of the most rural representatives changed their votes, both of them to “aye.” Peter Welch (D) of Vermont and Bill Shuster (R) of Pennsylvania’s 9th District, who had voted no on Monday, both supported the revised bill.

Welch, Vermont’s only member of the House, told reporters that he was willing to change his vote once federal deposit insurance was doubled. Welch also said he saw more oversight in the revised bill and greater protection — as well as potential benefits — for taxpayers. Welch told reporters that Senator Barack Obama “gave me his personal assurance that as the next president of the United States he would fight for a recoupment fund – the term he uses – to make certain that the cost of this program would be borne by the financial services community.”

Rep. Bill Shuster , a Republican from south-central Pennsylvania, said the higher insurance cap on bank deposits in the revised bill also influenced him to vote yes on Friday. Shuster said he was encouraged that the Congress had broken the $700 billion financial payout into installments.

"This is not a blank check," he said. "The next president, the next Treasury, is going to have to come back to Congress to get approval for this."

Both Welch’s and Shuster’s seats in Congress had been considered “safe.”

The House members from the 25 most rural districts and their votes on the original and revised bailout bills are listed below.

% RURAL US REP. STATE/ DISTRICT PARTY HR 3997 Vote Monday HR 1424 Vote Friday
79% Harold Rogers KY-5 R Yes Yes
74% Robert B. Aderholt AL-4 R No No
69% Michael H. Michaud ME-2 D No No
68% Lincoln Davis TN-4 D No No
67% Bart Stupak MI-1 D No No
66% Collin C. Peterson MN-7 D No No
66% Nathan Deal GA-9 R No No
66% Rick Boucher VA-9 D Yes Yes
65% John M. McHugh NY-23 R Yes Yes
64% Dan Boren OK-2 D Yes Yes
64% Virgil H. Goode Jr. VA-5 R No No
64% Ed Whitfield KY-1 R No No
63% James L. Oberstar MN-8 D Yes Yes
62% Peter Welch VT D No Yes
62% Nick J. Rahall II WV-3 D Yes Yes
62% Travis Childers MS-1 D No No
60% Jo Ann Emerson MO-8 R Yes Yes
60% Ike Skelton MO-4 D Yes Yes
60% Charles "Chip" Pickering MS-3 R Yes Yes
60% Bill Shuster PA-9 R No Yes
59% Dave Camp MI-4 R Yes Yes
58% David R. Obey WI-7 D Yes Yes
57% Virginia Foxx NC-5 R No No
57% Ron Kind WI-3 D Yes Yes
57% Zack Space OH-18 D Yes Yes