Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Inslee and Baird explain their bailout votes

NPI has received statements from the offices of Representatives Brian Baird and Jay Inslee explaining their respective "yes" and "no" votes on the Bush administration's bailout proposal. Here is Brian Baird's:
This wasn’t a perfect bill, but the economic situation is daunting. In the past few days, Congress was able to take an unacceptable proposal, and mold it into something that would have made the best of a bad situation. Leaders from both parties had worked together in historic fashion over the past week to draft bipartisan compromise legislation.

Unfortunately many members couldn’t get on board. In just the past few minutes, we’re already seeing the results on Wall Street.

I would have never been able to support this legislation without the provisions that Congressman Tanner and I were able to insert into it that protects the American taxpayer. Under these terms, the taxpayer would have been protected from any potential losses. This was key for me.

The average taxpayer didn’t create this problem; they shouldn’t be left holding the bag for it.

Under our plan, five years from now, if the taxpayer were in the red, the President would have been required to submit a plan to impose fees or taxes on Wall Street to recoup those losses.

However, if these investments turn a profit, the taxpayer would have shared in them. I hope we’ll be able to resolve our differences, reconvene later this week and agree on an even better bill.

However, even if we can eventually get this passed, our economy would remain in a very fragile state for some time to come.

The conditions created by excessive debt on both the federal and personal level, our rising trade deficit, and the rising costs of energy all suggest we could still see a recession or worse in the coming months. These are challenging economic times and I believe this bill, while less than ideal, remains an important first step to solving the economic problems facing our country.
And here is Jay Inslee's statement:
The initial plan by Secretary Paulson was completely unacceptable, but the revised package was not much better. For all the talk of protecting the taxpayer, there were only limited promises that the taxpayers’ $700 billion investment would be paid back and there were no provisions to help struggling homeowners.

If we authorize $700 billion in a bailout for Wall Street, we must ensure – and not just hope – that all the money gets paid back to the American taxpayer. The plan we were presented with did not do that.

Also, I saw no real provisions in the revised plan to help stem the real cause of the crisis, which is the collapse in our housing markets. We needed a pro-growth bill to stimulate the economy, and that was not what we got.

But now is the time for Congress to come together again and vote on a real, comprehensive plan that will solve the crisis while still protecting the taxpayers and restarting our economic growth. I am prepared to stay here and in session as long as it takes, and I know many of my colleagues in Congress feel the same.

The American people deserve better. I could not, with good conscience, vote for the bill presented to me.
NPI commends Representative Jay Inslee, who represents our home district, for being the only Washington State Democrat to vote his conscience and oppose this fundamentally flawed bailout plan.


Blogger Tahoma Activist said...

This vote was the best thing we could have possibly hoped for. Check out Washblog for my post about the inside story.

Norm Dicks explains that the Repugs had to put up 100 votes for it or it would fail. No word yet on why they broke their promise.

September 29, 2008 2:00 PM  

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