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Microsoft's lobbying on bailout bill fails to sway votes

Home-state members of Congress stick to 'no' votes as measure passes

October 3, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - The four representatives whom Microsoft Corp. lobbied earlier in the week after the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a massive Wall Street bailout bill did not change their votes today as a revised bill sailed through Congress.

In fact, one fewer representative voted for the bill -- aimed at shoring up the nation's financial infrastructure and keeping the economy from slipping further -- on Friday than did Monday.

Even so, Microsoft's chief lawyer, Brad Smith, thanked the home-state delegation today.

"Microsoft is pleased to see members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate come together to pass this important legislation," Smith said in a statement issued Friday. "I particularly appreciate the support of the members of the Washington state delegation who cast their vote today to help preserve jobs in all sectors of the economy of Washington state and across the U.S."

Earlier in the week, Microsoft had e-mailed members of the state's House delegation who voted against the first version of the bill Monday.

The message, Smith told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Tuesday, read: "Microsoft strongly urges members of the U.S. House of Representatives to reconsider and to support legislation that will re-instill confidence and stability in the financial markets. This legislation is vitally important to the health and preservation of jobs in all sectors of the economy of Washington state and the nation, and we urge Congress to act swiftly."

The message, Smith added, was sent to Republican Reps. Doc Hastings, Dave Reichert and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee, all of whom voted against the bill on Monday.

On Friday, as the House passed the revamped bailout by a vote of 263-171, the four stuck to their "no" votes. According to roll-call results posted by House of Representatives today, Inslee, Hastings, Reichert and Rodgers all voted against the bill.

Another Democrat, James McDermott, also voted against the bill on Friday; on Monday, he had voted for the bailout.

Other House members were also inundated with e-mails about the bailout package as it moved through Congress.

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