State News

Dole, Burr split on bailout package

Posted October 1, 2008

— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said Wednesday she would vote against a revised $700 bailout of the nation's financial industry, while  while Sen. Richard Burr said he would support the plan.

Dole said Wednesday the proposal is "a government takeover of our economy with no protection for taxpayers." While she said the relief package was an improvement over the Bush administration's original plan, Dole said it does nothing to fix the housing crisis largely blamed for triggering the meltdown of the nation's credit markets.

"Now is the time for careful, deliberate actions, not hasty, knee-jerk reactions," Dole said in a statement. "I will stand up for the taxpayers and vote no."

Burr said he expects the revised proposal to pass, with about 70 to 75 votes in favor of it.

The revised proposal includes sweeteners designed to appease House lawmakers, including energy tax breaks and an increase in the limit on federal bank deposit insurance from $100,000 to $250,000.

"It does put a depositor in a position where they stop moving moving money from institution to institution to stay under the $100,000 cap," Burr told WRAL News.

 Dole said the added provisions boost the cost of plan to more than $800 billion.

The House rejected the initial bailout plan Monday, and Burr said investors lost $1.2 trillion in the stock market that day, which add urgency to the need to pass the revised plan.

"The revisions are not huge, but (House members) certainly have a different perspective on the degree of the crisis," said Burr, a longtime House member.

Democratic state Sen. Kay Hagan, who is locked in a tight race for Dole's seat, said Wednesday she wanted to see the final measure before taking a position. She also declined to voice an opinion on the initial bailout plan that failed during a vote in the House earlier this week.

"We are in a precarious position," Hagan said. "I want to make sure we don't have a rush to judgment on this."

Dole serves on the Senate's banking committee, whose leaders brokered the negotiations between lawmakers and the White House. Rather than the plan before the Senate, which would spend billions to buy deeply discounted mortgage-backed securities at the center of the crisis, she said she would like to see a significant and immediate tax credit for purchasing a home, a suspension of "mark-to-market" accounting, and a program for securing or guaranteeing loans to banks.

Hagan was less specific, saying she would like to see increased oversight of the industry, a cap on executive pay and mechanisms to keep people in their homes.

"We obviously need action," Hagan said. "But I want to make sure we get it right."

The government's plan, pushed by the Bush administration and top lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, would allow the government to spend billions to buy bad assets, removing them from the books of financial institutions hit by a freeze in credit. Leaders of the push hope it will ease the concerns of banking firms, giving them more piece of mind as they return to lending to businesses and individuals.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has said the measure will benefit both companies and individuals who could be damaged by ongoing turmoil.

22 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Armando de Cabana Boy Oct 2, 2008

    LLoyd Christmas you are right. Besides, can anyone tell me where the figure $700B came from? I think taxpayers deserve an itemized list of who's getting what. We (USA) have not spent that much $ on the Iraq war. The overpaid CEOs of those failing corps. should have to show their faces and explain themselves to taxpayers. It's their fault and those who live beyond their means.

  • simbo Oct 2, 2008

    Burr is a no backbone rubberstamping republican

  • davidgnews Oct 2, 2008

    I repeatedly emailed and called Burr and told him he will lose re-election if he votes for this.

    I hope you inclueded to say "When pigs fly."

  • duster 340 Oct 2, 2008

    Thank you Ms. Dole, for voting "NO" you got my vote !

  • SubwayScoundrel Oct 1, 2008

    All businesses need credit and liquidity. I see where companies should not borrow to pay payroll. I guess you are somewhat right but then shut down, fire eveyone and make the issue worse. Cheap credit puts more $$ toward development of products and other business items going. Sony Erriccson has issues but I wonder how much of this is preparing for credit issues.

    Just wait, you will start to see bigger companies go under and fire and lay off. Those hoping the gov. does nothing will wish otherwise when they don't loose thier job or thier business is cutback so far, they can not pay rent on the building.

    If they had not at least talked about this, there would have been a run on the banks and stocks. Last person out looses !!!!

  • Scrapper Oct 1, 2008

    Good for Dole.

  • PaulRevere Oct 1, 2008

    I repeatedly emailed and called Burr and told him he will lose re-election if he votes for this. I plan to work to make that happen unless he changes his mind at the last minute. Kay Hagan needs to go back to cutting out card-board paper red shoes. She's clueless.

  • egriffin8278 Oct 1, 2008

    I think Dole is right on this one. The additional pork added to the bill is going to make it way over 700 billion... Lou Dobbs is even reporting upwards of 850 billion. Peter DeFazio a US House member from Oregon has a good solution that has the backing of economists. Richard Shelby in the Senate from Alabama has opposed the bill when first introduced last week and even has a list of the leading economists who oppose it as well. You can find the list here: http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/john.cochrane/research/Papers/mortgage_protest.htm

  • WRALblows Oct 1, 2008

    "Most americans do not understand what is at stake here."

    As to imply that so many Americans don't know as much as you about the situation. Yes, I'm pretty sure I understand and as much as I don't want my investments to suffer any more I do not support this bailout in any form offered to date.

    The entire argument is to resume lending or we suffer from the top down right? I say let's not resume the posture of a debt driven society. Many VC and unsubstantiated businesses might fail but that is the law of the jungle. Buying the banks bad decisions does not mean they will lend money. If there's no macro economic activity then the old bad debt will be replaced with new bad debt. It pretty much boils down to jobs and wages and neither of these bills have offered any language demonstrating job creation or wage increases.

    I also hate the senate felt is was necessary to dangle carrots in front of the house to entice them towards the bill. Mental health parity? That's a stretch.

  • davidgnews Oct 1, 2008

    Dole does something right - she should put it in a commercial.

    Burr is long sold out, no surprise with his vote.

More...