Queens residents said somewhat reluctantly that they thought Congress should pass a financial bailout bill to prevent further crisis on Wall Street, but many of them believed partisan politics had so far stalled negotiations.
Residents across the borough said they were distressed that Congress had failed to pass the $700 billion package. Most of them said they did not believe Congress was doing enough to push through the legislation.
"I think it's necessary to pass it," said Scott Michaels of Bayside. "I think the reason they haven't passed it is because congressmen want a bill to pass, but they do not want to vote for it. They don't want to anger their local constituents. But I think everyone knows something needs to be done by the government."
Carleene Cannon, of Queens Village, said she had to drop her cable service and has resorted to saving plastic cans and bottles to exchange for money in case current Wall Street woes lead to a catastrophe .
She said she does not see the nation's economic problems being fixed quickly.
"God help us if it gets any worse," she said. "Hopefully, our presidential hopefuls will do what they can to clear this up. But I'm not seeing any party change things much at all. It took us years to get into this mess and it's not going to take a week to get out of it."
Tracey Bowes, who lives in St. Albans and works at Bellevue Hospital, said she was upset that Congress did not stay in session until it passed a bailout package.
"For [them] to leave without addressing this shows the selfishness of the elite in Congress," she said. "A failure to bail them out means an increase in mortgage rates. There will be a rise in foreclosure."
But she said she did not believe the presidential candidates — U.S. Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) or John McCain (R-Ariz.) — should be expected to solve the crisis.
"Anyone believing they can come in on a white horse and save the day is delusional," she said.
Other residents said they believed a bill should be passed, but called for Wall Street executives' salaries to be removed from the package. Some of them said they thought partisan politics were getting in the way of passing legislation.
"We have to come up with some sort of plan," said Bill Brennan, who lives in Westchester County but works on Bell Boulevard in Bayside. "Republicans and Democrats are playing games and both have agendas. Republicans are worried about getting re-elected."
But Bellerose resident Mike Augugliaro said he was against the bailout.
"I think it's kind of nuts," he said. "I don't understand how they're going to recoup the money from taxpayers."
Ivan Pereira, Jeremy Walsh and Howard Koplowitz contributed to this article.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@time
©2008 Community News Group
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