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Split decision

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U.S. Reps. Charles Djou and Mazie Hirono split their votes on a major financial reform bill that gained passage in the House yesterday.

The measure, which is more than 2,000 pages long, would rewrite the nation’s regulatory books from Wall Street to Main Street.

Djou’s vote marked his first on a nationally significant issue since the Republican won a May 22 special election to fill the seat formerly held by Democrat Neil Abercrombie. The House roll call was 237-192, with most Democrats supporting the bill and all but three Republicans opposing.

In a statement, Djou said the measure failed to address the financial meltdown’s root causes, intrusively expands the reach of government and raises taxes on banks that will pass those costs on to consumers.

"Put simply, this bill does more yet accomplishes nothing — it spends more, it taxes more and it sets the stage for more Wall Street bailouts," he said. He said he supported parts of the measure, such as provisions requiring more transparency in the credit ratings industry.

Democrats pounced on his vote.

"Djou’s outrageous refusal to hold Big Banks accountable or put a stop to the era of taxpayer-funded bailouts is another reminder that Djou’s agenda is to put Wall Street and Big Business before hardworking middle-class families," Ryan Rudominer, a spokesman with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

Djou faces a tough race in November against his likely Democratic foe, state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who said through a spokesman that she would have supported the bill.

Congresswoman Hirono praised the bill.

"This bill will put our citizens in much stronger positions when it comes to buying a home, using their credit cards and mapping out their long-term financial future," she said.

The Senate is not expected to vote on the bill for at least two weeks.

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