Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Further Info on the House Vote

The Washington Post provides a breakdown on the roll call vote by which the U.S. House yesterday rejected the financial bailout bill.

Yesterday, I noted that this was nowhere near being a party-line vote. There were a lot of Democrats on both sides, and also many Republicans on both sides.

The breakdown by state is interesting. New York, which would likely get more of the direct benefit than any other state, voted in favor by 25 to 4. But the two states that are more populous than New York were more ambivalent. California was 29-24 in favor, while Texas was 23-9 against.

Of the four "no" votes from New York, only one represents a district in the New York City metropolitan area. That is Congressman Jose Serrano, whose district is in the Bronx, and includes Yankee Stadium (however, despite any voting irregularities that may or may not have occurred in that borough over the years, I don't think the monuments beyond the outfield wall can vote).

I wrote here about how the founding fathers, who did not anticipate the development of a two-party system, were concerned about the congressional representation of each state. They created the Senate, in part to counterbalance the potential power of the larger states in the House of Representatives.

Under the current two-party system, on many issues, a New York Democrat will have more in common with, for instance, a Rhode Island Democrat, than with a New York Republican. Therefore, the clout of one or more states, per se, is not that important. But some votes involve the interests of one city, state or region and, on those votes, geography often trumps party affiliation. The interest in the bailout bill of America's financial capital, New York, is one such example.

For a truly important analysis of the vote, however, click on "by astrological sign". I'm sure some budding political scientist could write a PhD thesis on why Virgos were 26-17 in favor, while Geminis were 30-19 against.

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