WASHINGTON (AP) — Michigan’s House delegation was deeply divided Monday over a $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan, as opponents said their constituents didn’t want taxpayers to shoulder the burden of a massive bailout.

Nine of Michigan’s 15 House members voted against the bill in an unusual alliance, joining with skeptical colleagues in Congress to defeat the proposal. They said Congress needed to develop an alternative because the bailout would set a bad precedent without offering long-term solutions to the nation’s financial crisis.

Opponents included three Democrats — Reps. John Conyers and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Detroit and Bart Stupak of Menominee. The six Republicans who opposed it included Reps. Joe Knollenberg of Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township, Tim Walberg of Tipton, Pete Hoekstra of Holland, Mike Rogers of Howell, Thaddeus McCotter of Livonia and Candice Miller of Macomb County’s Harrison Township.

Knollenberg, who faces a tough re-election campaign this fall against Democrat Gary Peters, said a “huge number” of constituents registered their opposition to the plan, which he felt was hastily produced.

“We can do better and we should do better so the people across America aren’t overwhelmed with trying to bail out Wall Street or I should say, the CEOs of Wall Street,” Knollenberg said. “That’s really what irks most people in my district.”

Walberg, who is also targeted by Democrats, said the bill was “nothing more than an expensive, taxpayer-funded band aid that will not solve our long-term economic problems.”

Walberg, who faces Democrat Mark Schauer in November, said he was “extremely disappointed” in President Bush for refusing to consider other options and blasted Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s role in the legislation.

Paulson “failed the American people by refusing alternative plans, demanding unprecedented power for the Treasury Department and asking the American people for a blank check to cover speculative investments and mistakes made by investment bankers,” Walberg said.

Kilpatrick, whose Detroit district has struggled with high unemployment, said the proposal failed to help struggling homeowners and “does not help the little person who needs it.”

Several lawmakers said they hoped the administration would help shape a revamped proposal, which they said was needed to calm financial markets and protect taxpayers’ money.

“It’s very frustrating to know that there are very doable solutions,” Rogers said.

Supporting the plan were Democrats John Dingell of Dearborn, Dale Kildee of Flint and Sander Levin of Royal Oak. Republicans Dave Camp of Midland, Fred Upton of St. Joseph and Vernon Ehlers backed the plan.

Dingell noted that the Treasury Department would have the authority to purchase traditional car loans as part of the bailout, a key concern for the domestic auto industry. Lawmakers have said auto loans could dry up if Congress fails to act on the bailout.

Dingell said they “took a bad piece of legislation and they have significantly improved it to make it much better.”

Upton said the bill was not perfect, but it “protected Michigan’s working families on Main Street rather than the fat cats on Wall Street.”

Ehlers said the “consequences of inaction could rival the Great Depression of the 1930s: Credit cards not working, employers going out of business because they are unable to borrow money, and employees not receiving paychecks.”

“Congress must work in a bipartisan manner in renewed efforts to find a solution. Partisanship has no place in this debate. The stakes are far too high,” Ehlers said.

Peters, who is challenging Knollenberg, said in a statement he also would have opposed the bill because it would have bailed out foreign banks, lacked sufficient reforms and had “weak protections against using taxpayer money to fund golden parachutes.”

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