Friday, October 3, 2008

Udall Opposes Bailout Plan.

U.S. Representative Tom Udall, D-N.M., released the following statement today on his opposition to the Senate-passed $700 billion taxpayer funded Wall Street Bailout bill:
Four days ago, I opposed a bailout plan that did too little for homeowners, too much for executives, and nothing to prevent Wall Street from repeating the mistakes that got us into this crisis. The core bailout bill brought before the House today is almost identical. It will still put New Mexico and U.S. taxpayer on the hook for $700 billion to bail out Wall Street, the very people whose irresponsibility helped to undermine America's economy and threaten the jobs and life savings of millions of American families.

Make no mistake: America faces a serious crisis, and we must do something. But we cannot let fear and artificial timelines drive our decision-making. Our solution should meet the demands of the day without producing more economic hardships in the future.

The core proposals of the bill sent from the Senate still have the same significant and fundamental flaws as the bill the House rejected. For example, under this proposal:

· The Treasury is given unprecedented power to spend taxpayer money without adequate oversight or an actual plan for fixing the systemic problems that led America to this crisis.

· Corporate executives who ran their companies into the ground can still walk away with millions in taxpayer-funded golden parachutes and lavish compensation packages.

· Taxpayer dollars are being spent to bail out foreign companies whose governments are doing nothing.

· Little is being done to help responsible homeowners. Tens of thousands of families could lose their homes. More importantly, families who had nothing to do with failed mortgages could lose billions in assets as foreclosures continue to drive down property values.

Unfortunately, the Senate has chosen to add unrelated provisions rather than concentrating on fixing this deeply flawed proposal. My vote today does not suggest any disagreement with the important package of tax cuts that was added in the last few days. I have consistently supported tax cuts for the middle class, including fixes for the Alternative Minimum Tax. I have long advocated for mental health parity legislation, and voted for it repeatedly. I have fought for tax credits to spur green industries and produce jobs. And I have worked to protect the Secure Rural Schools and Payment In Lieu of Taxes programs that would be extended by this bill. These proposals should be voted on based on their own strong merits, and not forced into a $700 billion taxpayer bailout—a plan that will have a large and widespread impact for generations—that has been rushed through with serious flaws and many problems left unaddressed.

Regardless of whether or not this legislation passes, Congress must work on a new framework for our financial system. In this hour of crisis, we have a rare opportunity to protect future generations from the turmoil we have seen. We must seize this opportunity, not simply bail out the very people who created this crisis."

Today's vote was difficult, but I believe it is what's right for New Mexico's Third Congressional District and the people of New Mexico and our nation.”

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