Forbes Statement on Bailout Bill
Congressman Randy Forbes released the following statement after voting against the Wall Street bailout bill:
"While many agree that our unstable economic situation calls for decisive action, there were many concerns that the bailout bill voted on Monday was not the appropriate way to address our economic situation. This was made clear in a bipartisan statement on the House floor when I - along with 208 of my colleagues (95 Democrats and 133 Republicans) - voted against the bailout bill.
"First, I am not confident that the bailout bill would work. Over the past ten days, I have spoken with senior Treasury officials and the former Chairman of the FDIC. All of them cautioned that this plan may not work, and a $700 billion federal government commitment would leave the government crippled to take any secondary action if the plan did not succeed.
"Additionally, the plan did not provide enough protections for American taxpayers who were being asked to shoulder the $700 billion cost. The bailout bill put taxpayers on the line first, instead of using alternatives like an insurance plan that would require firms to put up funds first through insurance premiums. I could not support a bill that did not give adequate consideration to taxpayers.
"Finally, the bill significantly increased our federal debt in such a way that it could handicap our nation's economic future. The bailout bill would have increased our federal debt limit to $11.3 trillion. There is a chance that this money would be provided by foreign countries, like China. Senior Treasury official that I spoke with could not be certain what the long-term impact of this much foreign-owned debt would be. For instance, if China chose to finance the $700 billion, it could give them leverage over our foreign and domestic policy choices, and that was not a risk I was willing to take.
"The House will reconvene this week to continue addressing this issue. I believe we should continue to work until we have created a responsible vehicle that has greater likelihood of improving our economy as a whole with real protections for taxpayers at less taxpayer cost."