Thursday, October 02, 2008

Statements Of Democrats Opposing Wall-Street Bailout Bill

The following is a compilation of statements from Senate Democrats who voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008:

Russ Feingold (D-WI)

"I will oppose the Wall Street bailout plan because though well intentioned, and certainly much improved over the administration's original proposal, it remains deeply flawed. It fails to offset the cost of the plan, leaving taxpayers to bear the burden of serious lapses of judgment by private financial institutions, their regulators, and the enablers in Washington who paved the way for this catastrophe by removing the safeguards that had protected consumers and the economy since the great depression.

"The bailout legislation also fails to reform the flawed regulatory structure that permitted this crisis to arise in the first place. And it doesn't do enough to address the root cause of the credit market collapse, namely the housing crisis. Taxpayers deserve a plan that puts their concerns ahead of those who got us into this mess."

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

"I believe that bold action is needed to solve our current financial crisis. I am just not for this action. I am in favor of putting the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government behind solving this financial crisis, but I do not support turning the keys of the U.S. Treasury over to the private sector. I don’t believe it’s the government’s job to pick winners and losers in corporate America . "

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

(Sanders votes in the Democratic caucus)

“If a bailout is needed, if taxpayer money must be placed at risk as we bail out Wall Street greed, the people who pay for it should be the millionaires who benefited most from Bush’s reckless economic policies, not the struggling middle class."

Tim Johnson (D-SD)

"It is no exaggeration to say that our economy is currently undergoing a period of extraordinary stress and volatility. It is very unfortunate that greedy, Wall Street investors brought us to this point, and that the regulators were asleep at the switch when we needed them most.

"There is no question that something must be done to address this situation. But, throughout this process, I have made clear that while this may be a necessary evil, it cannot be a gift that puts undue burden on the American taxpayer.

"Despite the fact that this proposal has merits, I continue to have concerns that it lacks the necessary protections to fix the abuses that caused this problem, provides little direct assistance to American families, does not go far enough to cut the golden parachutes of irresponsible CEO’s, and does not do enough to address American tax dollars benefiting foreign banks.

"If we are to ask the American people to shoulder such a large and enduring burden because of the irresponsible and greedy actions of Wall Street then it is important that we get it right. This is closer, but it's not close enough."

Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

"Unfortunately, it appears that an influx of taxpayer money will ultimately need to be a part of any attempt to stabilize and restore faith in our financial sector. However, if the people of Louisiana have learned anything in the last several years, it is that simply throwing money at a disaster doesn't fix the problem unless paired with wise reforms to the practices that failed us.

"Significant improvements have certainly been made since the audacious first draft of the bailout plan. But in its current form, it falls too short of having the safeguards needed to ensure American taxpayers aren't left shouldering the burden of problems left uncorrected."

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

"I opposed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 because it is fundamentally the wrong approach to fixing our economy. We need to start from the root of the problem - helping families stay in their homes and keep their jobs. While I’m glad it included alternative energy provisions that I championed as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, it did not do enough for the people of Michigan, and so I could not, in good conscience, support this bill. I will continue my work in the Senate to ensure that we remain focused on legislation that creates jobs and puts American families first."

Jon Tester (D-MT)

“After reading this legislation carefully, asking tough questions, and hearing from thousands of Montanans, I have decided this bailout proposal doesn’t deserve my vote.

“I don’t believe it’s tough enough to protect American taxpayers and small businesses. It doesn’t require the common sense regulations needed to prevent this mess from happening again. It doesn’t go far enough in stripping golden parachutes from the bad actors on Wall Street. And it passes too much debt on to our kids and our grandkids.”

Ron Wyden (D-OR)

“Americans are hurting and Congress is rightly being called to action. But if history has taught us anything these last few years, it is that no matter how great the rush to judgment, Congress has an obligation to take the time to ask tough questions and make certain that the action it chooses is arrived at in a thoughtful fashion. This is particularly the case on those rare occasions when we are considering legislation of this magnitude.

“In 2004, Congress rushed through the process of authorizing the Iraq war, failed to verify the answers to the questions it received from the Bush administration, and five years later we have spent over $600 billion on the war in Iraq.

“Now, in 2008, we have been rushed into voting on a package that would spend $700 billion in a far shorter period of time to address the credit crisis that threatens our markets. In my judgment, the bill we are considering tonight leaves far too many questions unanswered, and misses the mark in addressing both the causes and potential cures for the current crisis."