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One suburban congressman switches sides on rescue plan
By Joseph Ryan | Daily Herald Staff

U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, Hinsdale Republican


U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean, a Barrington Democrat


U.R. Rep. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican


U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, a Rockford Republican


U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, Geneva Democrat


U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican


U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat


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Published: 10/3/2008 1:15 PM | Updated: 10/3/2008 4:46 PM

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One suburban Republican in Congress switched sides Friday to vote for the latest version of the $700 billion bailout measure, helping to send one of the largest rescue plans in history to President George Bush's desk.

"If we don't act now those who are least to blame for this mess will suffer most," U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert said on the House floor in supporting the bailout Friday.

The Hinsdale Republican voted against Monday's bailout along with two other suburban lawmakers. Biggert was the only one of the three to switch Friday, saying increasing market turmoil along with the Senate's tax cut additions changed her mind.

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, and U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, a Rockford Republican whose district includes the Algonquin area, both voted against the measure for a second time on Friday.

"The tragedy here is that Americans were never given an alternative," Manzullo said of the current proposal.

Also voting 'yes' from the suburbs: Melissa Bean, a Barrington Democrat; Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican; Bill Foster, a Geneva Democrat; and Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat.

All of them had voted for the original measure on Monday, calling it flawed, but the action needed to prevent economic collapse.

The suburban congressional delegation faces election less than a month from now. And voters appeared to pay intense interest to the bailout debate, flooding district offices with phone calls, letters and e-mails voicing their opinions.

Kirk said he would tell voters on the campaign trail the bailout was essential for their financial future.

"I felt the retirement savings and the jobs for millions of Americans were at stake," Kirk said of his vote for the plan.

Foster called the vote "strong and nasty medicine" and said he would point out to voters that business groups backed the bailout as well.

"I vote for what is best for the country, but it feels pretty good to have business groups stand up and pat me on the back for it," he said.

Most suburban congressional challengers support the bailout, including Bean opponent Steve Greenberg, Roskam opponent Jill Morgenthaler, Biggert opponent Scott Harper, Kirk opponent Dan Seals, and Manzullo opponent Robert Abboud.

Foster opponent Jim Oberweis would have voted against the bailout.

Illinois representatives voted 13-6 in favor of the plan.

Here is how other lawmakers voted from across the state:

Voting yes: Ray Lahood, a Peoria Republican; Phil Hare, a Rock Island Democrat; Jerry Weller, a Morris Republican; and Chicago Democrats Bobby Rush, Jesse Jackson, Luis Gutierrez, Rahm Emanuel and Danny Davis.

Voting no: John Shimkus, a Collinsville Republican; Tim Johnson, an Urbana Republican; Dan Lipinski, a Chicago Democrat; and Jerry Costello, a Belleville Democrat.