Local Politics

N.C. representatives comment on bailout bill

Posted October 3, 2008

Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-2nd district:

"The crisis on Wall Street is affecting workers and businesses on Main Street. We cannot wait for the situation to reach rock bottom before we take action. The economic rescue package will help to protect the life savings of seniors, small business owners and hard-working Americans from the financial crisis and it will cuts taxes for working families who have seen the cost of health care, gasoline and education sky rocket over the last six years," said Etheridge.

"This bill is not the blank check the Bush Administration originally proposed. It eliminates golden parachutes and limits compensation for Wall Street executives, provides assistance for struggling homeowners and includes strong oversight and transparency to protect taxpayers' money. This new plan ensures that taxpayers are repaid in full, and that Wall Street will make up any shortfall for the cost of this bill," said Rep. Bob Etheridge.

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Rep. Robin Hayes, R-8th district: NC-08:

“This package has changed and changed for the better with the inclusion of the higher FDIC coverage and some tax cuts that will help spur investment.

“However, the bill still contains a troubling provision that allows foreign-based banks or investment firms to have just as much access to US tax dollars as American companies. Over the past few days, I sought to get this provision changed, but it hasn’t.

“Ultimately, I voted NO out of continued concern that US tax money in this program would be diverted from the intended goal of strengthening our economy.

“The legislation has passed, and it’s up to Congress and the Administration to make sure the program works to help our economy and protects taxpayers.”

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Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th district:

“The government needed to act to address the credit crisis in this country by ensuring access to credit for families, businesses and homeowners. However, we needed a clean bill that would help American families and small businesses, not foreign investors and foreign banks. We also needed a bill that was not loaded down with extra spending that increases the national debt even more. Therefore, I could not support this bill.

“Specifically, this bill is unsatisfactory in several ways:

1. It fails to protect American taxpayers against their money being used to help foreign companies and foreign banks;
2. Oversight of how this money is spent by the Secretary of the Treasury is severely limited;
3. Few, if any, homeowners, will get mortgage relief;
4. This bill drives up our national debt to nearly $10 trillion - this bill is more expensive than the first bill that was defeated!

“Now that it has passed, I will do all that I can to make sure oversight is done properly, accountability is in place, and hearings are held to ensure the taxpayers’ money is being used wisely where it is needed most.”

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Rep. Mel Watts, D-12th district:

"The rescue portion of this bill is the same as the bill that I voted for when it failed in the House, except that FDIC insurance coverage has been increased from $100,000 to $250,000. I support this change because it will help stabilize the economy and banks by addressing customer fears that have resulted in "runs" on a number of banks. The bill addresses all the major concerns about the Administration’s original proposal in that it provides for phased release of the funds, substantial oversight and accountability, relief for homeowners under threat of being foreclosed and a process for full recovery of all taxpayer money.

The other parts of the bill which have been added by the Senate are all things I have previously supported and voted for in bills that the House already passed. When the House passed these bills, we fully paid for them. The Senate's failure to pay for the cost of these measures concerns me. But we have no choice but to try to address the credit and economic crisis that we are in the middle of. While I would prefer to pay for these measures, I was not provided that option in this bill.

These were the major considerations in my decision to support the legislation.”

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