The U-S Senate approved the 700-billion dollar financial rescue plan Wednesday night with a vote of 74 to 25. Senator Chuck Hagel voted yes.
“I enthusiastically supported it. As I have been saying over the last couple of weeks we needed to address this in a responsible, accountable, transparent way. Focus on the real issues here. Recognizing whatever we did, whatever the product ultimately came out of Congress would be imperfect.”
Senator Hagel says the House will vote on the plan soon.
“We don’t know what rule will be used to bring this legislation to the floor of the House but what I understand will be the identical bill that we passed last night, for obvious reasons. If both bodies pass the same bill, there is no reason for a conference or any kind of requirement to balance the differences of the two so I suspect the House Rules Committee would impose rules that would in effect have the House debate and then vote on exactly what we passed in the Senate last night.”
Senator Hagel says he did listen to his constituents here in Nebraska on the vote and some were for and some against.
“Sometimes you have to go against your constituents based on the fact that you have more facts and understand those pieces better and can assimilate all of this a deeper thinking, thinking forward more. You sometimes risk going against the will of your constituents, yes, but that is all part of it. You do have to do it. That is what leadership is about. Doesn’t mean you are right by the way. You could be wrong.”
Hagel is encouraged that the House will follow the Senate’s lead.
“I think the atmosphere is a little more conducive to this vote in the House tomorrow or late tonight than it was earlier this week partly due to the fact that the Senate so overwhelming supported this by strong bi-partisan numbers, both Republicans and Democrats and then the House members will have to make some decisions. Each member of the House, like each member of the Senate, will vote based on what they think is the right thing.”
Hagel says while the bailout isn’t perfect by any means, it is better than doing nothing.