Finger-pointing begin in wake of bill's defeat

WASHINGTON (AP) -- First came the failure of the massive House bipartisan bailout package. Then came the finger-pointing.

Several Republican aides say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended any spirit of bipartisanship surrounding the bill with a scathing speech near the close of today's debate. Her remarks blamed President Bush for the current financial industry turmoil.

Without mentioning her by name, Florida congressman Adam Putnam said "the partisan tone at the end of the debate" affected votes for the measure. House Minority Leader John Boehner was more specific, saying Pelosi's words "poisoned" the situation, alienating lawmakers they'd hoped would back the bill.

Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank scoffed at the idea. The Democrat who chairs the Financial Services Committee says if Pelosi's remarks "stopped people from voting, then shame on them." He said if a speech hurt their feelings then "they really don't belong here. They're not tough enough."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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