September 29, 2008 / 6:58 PM / 11 years ago

Republican Blunt aims to minimize economic damage

WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - House Republican leaders conceded on Monday they underestimated unhappiness among their members before a vote that defeated a proposed bailout for U.S. financial firms but said Democrats were more to blame.

“We did think we had a dozen more votes going to the floor than we had,” said Rep Roy Blunt of Missouri who was lead negotiator for the House Republicans. But he blamed a “partisan” floor speech by the Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for rousing enough opposition to kill the bill.

He pledged to reach out to Democrats to try to avert widespread economic fallout from the defeat of the bill.

“We’re going to reach back out to them, we’re certainly going to reach back out to our members,” Blunt said. “”We’re going to see how we can come together to reverse whatever negative there may be on the economy over the next few days because Congress has failed to act.” (Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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