The following press release has been received from 16th district congressman Don Manzullo:
Manzullo: Congress Must Act to Help Economy, But Bailout Poses Awful Risks for Our Future
[WASHINGTON] Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Egan), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement this afternoon after he again voted against the $700 billion taxpayer-funded plan to bail out America’s struggling financial markets. The bill passed the House 263-171. Manzullo instead supported two alternative bills (HR 7223 and HR 7226 – summaries are attached below) that could have attacked the problem without spending taxpayer dollars:
“Like all Americans, I am extremely concerned about our economy and recognize that Congress needs to act quickly to ease the credit crunch and return some confidence to our markets. That’s why I voted against the latest bailout bill today, a bill that former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said could have potentially ‘awful’ consequences for our economy.
“Although the latest version includes some sweeteners – including tax extenders I support and that would have passed overwhelmingly in separate legislation – the base bill remained fatally flawed because it still stuck America’s taxpayers with the bill for the bailout.
“In fact, the bill would still allow one man – the Treasury Secretary – to literally spend all $700 billion in 30 days, or $7,500 for each American taxpayer. Giving one person that much power is not only unprecedented, but dangerous because it gives him the authority to pick and choose ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in buying up not only bad mortgage debt, but auto and credit card debt and even debt held by foreign banks, including the Bank of China.
“The tragedy here is that Americans were never given an alternative. The President announced we had a major problem and said the only remedy was to take the draconian step of spending $700 billion of taxpayer money within a week or our economy would collapse, a plan his former Treasury secretary called ‘crazy’ and that hundreds of our nation’s top economists called ‘unfair’ and ‘short-sighted.’
“The sadness is that the Administration and Congressional leaders ignored other proven alternatives that could have solved the problem without spending anywhere near $700 billion in taxpayer money.
“One alternative would have set up an FDIC-style mandatory insurance program in which Wall Street firms would have paid to insure their mortgage-backed securities.
“Doing so would have made Wall Street instead of Main Street pay the cost of this rescue. But unfortunately, this solution was not considered. As a result, Americans will be paying for this bailout for generations to come.”