WISCONSINREPORT.COM (09/29/08) - The United States Congress failed to pass the 700 Billion Dollar Solution they have been working on over the weekend and debating today. Despite the apparent urgency of the financial crisis, H.R 3997, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, failed on the House floor by a vote of 205 - 228. Several Wisconsin members of the House of Representatives voiced dissapproval of the so-called Bailout. Some others were dismayed that the attempt to find a solution that the majority could agree on just wasn't possible. The Stock Market reacted in dissappointment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 777.68 points (6.98) percent to close at 10,365.45 in its biggest single-day point decline ever.
Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan expressed deep disappointment today on Congress’ failure to address our current financial crisis. Ryan says he fought on behalf of the taxpayer this past week in securing considerable protections for the taxpayer, while strengthening economic security for the American worker.
“It is with deep disappointment and a heavy heart to have witnessed Congress’ failure to address the grave financial challenges we face as a nation. With an election looming, my colleagues in Congress thought first and foremost of their own jobs at the expense of the jobs of those they serve," Ryan said.
"I could not and did not accept last week’s proposal by the Bush Administration – an Administration that totally mishandled this situation. But instead of pointing fingers and standing idly by – as would have been the politically expedient thing to do – I worked to secure concrete protections for the taxpayer," Ryan explained.
“Today’s vote was about stopping the Wall Street crisis from creating a banking crisis in our communities. The Bush Administration’s proposal was unacceptable, and the American people demanded an alternative solution be brought to the table," Ryan added.
"I joined my colleagues in putting forth an alternative economic rescue proposal and secured these taxpayer-protections in the final bipartisan agreement. I fought to make sure that once these troubled institutions start making profits, the taxpayers benefit first and foremost," Ryan said.
"I fought to make sure Wall Street executives don’t profit personally as a result of their irresponsible decisions. I wrote the provision that ensures that Wall Street shares in the cost of their own recovery," Ryan pointed out.
“I supported this bill in order to stabilize our economy and to preserve American jobs. It is about Main Street – that Wall Street’s crisis doesn’t become Main Street’s crisis. It is about protecting working families’ access to credit – so students can secure college loans, farmers can buy feed, seniors can secure their retirement, and businesses can pay their employees," Ryan went on.
“I am outraged that we find ourselves in this situation, and I have grave concerns for the state of our economy. In light of the political expediency of my colleagues and the horrendous failures of the Bush Administration, we will have to roll up our sleeves and go back to the drawing board to enact a meaningful solution to our financial crisis,” House Rpresentative Ryan said.
The market bloodbath sent the Nasdaq down 199.61 points (9.14 percent) to 1,983.73, its lowest since 2005. The broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 106.59 points (8.79 percent) to 1,106.42, hitting its lowest level since 2004.
Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. said no to what he referred to as the bailout of Wall Street firms and financial institutions. Kagen voted against the bill which sought to authorize the Bush Administration to give $700 billion to institutions who could not keep their financial houses in order.
“I was elected to represent the best interests of families in Northeast Wisconsin - not Wall Street,” said Kagen. “We have seen so many people lose their jobs and struggle just to keep their heads above water. I am on their side and this bill does not help them.”
Kagen expressed doubt about the bill’s potential effectiveness and who will ultimately profit from it.
“It’s time to get back to the basics. Let’s bring those who have broken the law to justice, clean up the mess and write laws that favor families who work hard and play by the rules. I'm prepared to come back to Washington for as long as it takes to help resolve this mess brought on by the losing borrow and spend policies of this administration.” said Kagen.
Markets went into panic after the House of Representatives rejected the fragile compromise plan to spend up to 700 billion dollars to revive a financial sector weakened by a US housing meltdown.
Congressman Tom Petri voted with the majority today as, by a vote of 205-228, the House rejected the $700 billion financial markets bill.
"We were unnecessarily rushed into voting for a half-baked plan, and now that it has been rejected, we should have the opportunity to consider problems in the financial markets more carefully," House Representative Petri said.
Menomonee Falls Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner also voted ‘NO’ on HR 3997, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
Sensenbrenner said he voted "No because "it will subsidize Wall Street on the backs of hard working taxpayers and small businesses on Main Street.
“To put it plainly, this legislation will not work. It will put an unbelievable amount of taxpayer money at risk, and penalize those who used common sense during a time when others elected to ignore reason by making decisions that led them to live beyond their means. It is unfair and irresponsible to ask conscientious taxpayers to now shoulder the burden and debt of those with poor foresight," Sensenbrenner said.
“Moreover, the federal government has no business injecting itself into the free market system, and essentially, taking it over," Sensenbrenner continued.
"This completely defeats the purpose of such a system, and will have a chilling effect on future businesses that may think twice about entering the market if they have to compete with the American government. This is contrary to the spirit of American entrepreneurialism that is the foundation of our nation, and would turn our American Dream into an American Nightmare,” Sensenbrenner said.