WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva released a statement regarding his vote against the Bush-Paulson financial bill.
“I am not in disagreement that there is a financial crisis in our country. Daily the headlines deliver news of another bank in crisis.
“I am in disagreement of a proposal that is rushed and more importantly does not advocate equally for main street and strong protections for working families.
“The proposal before us today is a strong improvement to what was originally proposed by President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson. However, provisions have been left out that would assure us that the taxpayer comes first. The lack of inclusion and advocacy for families directly is why I cannot support today’s bill.
“This $700 billion price tag does not have an offset or enforcement of Pay-As-You-Go. During my tenure in Congress, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and investment in domestic projects have been sacrificed because of Pay-Go. This bill had an opportunity to require a security transfer tax so that Wall Street would payback the American taxpayer. Unfortunately, this guarantee was taken off the table.
“Furthermore, throwing money at a problem will not solve this crisis; we need to undo bad policies, such as the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform, that passed under the Bush Administration and the then Republican Congress. This proposal had an opportunity to reduce foreclosures by changing Chapter 13 in Bankruptcy law. This minimal language would have meant much for the community, as it would have provided relief to homeowners at no cost to taxpayers. This would have helped homeowners and those in foreclosure, alike, stay in their homes and house values would have maintained.
“In the basic tenet of Congress, we are to do checks and balances. Pursuing this historic deal without strong oversight and ensuring strict regulations occurred for passage is a bad deal. The language allows for an oversight Committee to only critique the proposal, not halt actions. In addition, although the proposal makes allowances to limit the “golden parachute”; it is not strong enough in assuring that the CEOs, who are at fault of these risky deals, are not rewarded.
“This crisis felt by Wall Street is the bubble hitting the top. The crisis of losing finances, homes, and having to brunt poor investment decisions by the Bush Administration has been felt in our neighborhoods, jobs, and homes for the last 8 years. I look forward to working on a different piece of legislation that confronts the crisis on Wall Street and provides real protections for taxpayers and homeowners. Congress should be prepared to work during the recess to do this right.”