Monday, September 29, 2008

Shea-Porter Statement on Financial Bailout Vote

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter released the following statement after voting against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act:

“Our economy has been battered by eight years of a financial wild west on Wall Street. There was no oversight and no accountability. I thought it was a mistake for the Administration to ask Congress to vote on a $700 billion bill to bail out Wall Street with only a single week to consider the proposal and a single day to review it. The Administration asked Congress to give up its Constitutional power of the purse and hand over a blank check for $700 billion. Congress said no.

“While I believe it is essential to address our credit and liquidity crisis, I voted against the Bush Bailout. I could not support the bill because it did not address the fundamental problem in our economy that caused the crisis in our financial institutions.

“I voted against the bill because it gave the Secretary of the Treasury -- a political appointee -- unfettered control over the execution of the bailout program. If the bill had passed, the Secretary of the Treasury would have had absolute authority to decide which securities to buy, from whom to purchase, and how much to pay. The Secretary of the Treasury would have also had absolute authority to decide who he would hire to manage the assets he purchased.

“More than four hundred economists, including three Nobel Laureates, appealed to Congress to slow down and make sure we got this right. Congress took about 8 months to draft and pass the legislation establishing the Resolution Trust Corporation -- and this only involved about $100 billion of taxpayer money. Certainly, Congress needs more time than one week to invest $700 billion of taxpayer money in a bailout.

“American taxpayers need a better bill, a better plan, and better protection. That is why I voted to stay in Washington and continue working on this bill. That is why I voted against this bill.”

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