Alabama Senator Leads GOP Charge Against Bailout

$700B bailout doesn't jibe with free-market principles, says Shelby
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2008 2:03 AM CDT
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn) and the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Richard Shelby, (R-Ala.) talk on Capitol Hill yesterday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Republican Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby is proving to be one of the toughest opponents of the Treasury Department's proposed bailout of financial firms, the Wall Street Journal reports. The ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee is leading the charge against the plan by Republicans who view it as a sellout of conservative principles.

Shelby is no stranger to bucking his own party. He quit the Democrats for the GOP in 1994 after a clash over Bill Clinton's tax increases. He put Treasury head Henry Paulson on the spot during Senate questioning of the bailout plan yesterday.  "You assume it will work," he said. "But you can't assure us that it's going to work, because you thought some of the other plans were going to work."