Washington, D.C. — Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement today concerning the proposed $700 billion bailout package:
“Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s warning that ‘the future health of the American economy depends on the swift passage of the $700 billion bailout for Wall Street’ is ridiculous.
“Our nation is in economic crisis brought on by greed, mismanagement, and a lack of regulatory and oversight role by this Administration.
“I have serious concerns about this so-called plan. Every man, woman and child in America will ante up $2000 each to bail out the very people who created this crisis. The banking industry lobbied and sued to reduce regulation and oversight of their activities. Now they are suffering as a result of the not-unforeseen housing downturn and the Administration helps big business again, at the expense of working families.
“Why is it that families who fall on hard times and need public assistance are called irresponsible but when the fat cats on Wall Street do the same, they are not held personally responsible for their actions?
“While we cannot fiddle away like Nero to let Rome burn, we cannot give a blank check yet again to Wall Street.
“I will only support a responsible package that will actually help the economy and protect the taxpayer. This package must be transparent, coupled with tough new oversight and regulations of our financial institutions.
“Congress must correct these abuses and move to stabilize our financial markets while ensuring corporate accountability. Major public investment in employment opportunities, schools, energy, the environment, and health services is vital to get the real economy moving and put people back to work.
“Wall Street must repay the American taxpayer through a surcharge on transactions of commodities and stock, as it did up until 1966. We must have a companion economic stimulus package that invests in jobs, education and American families. No bailout should proceed without being linked to support these investments in the future to get the economy going again.”