The following is a press release issued today by one of Congress' most progressive members, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), on the failure of Congress to pass H.R. 3997, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. (H/T to PublicMarkup.org & the aggressively innovative Sunlight Foundation!)
Legislation Would Have Rewarded Predatory and Subprime Lenders
Washington D.C.- Today Congresswoman Barbara Lee delivered the following statement on the House floor in opposition to the financial bailout bill considered today. The Congresswoman voted against the bill, which failed by a vote of 205-228.
“Thank you Madame Speaker and thank you Mr. Frank, the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, for his efforts to improve the administration’s $700 billion blank check proposal.
“As a former member of the House Financial Services Committee for eight years, I can tell you that the situation we find ourselves in is the direct result of the deregulation happy, turn a blind- eye approach of this administration and its allies in Congress.
“Now we see the horrific price of these reckless deregulation policies. More than 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs since January. People need jobs to obtain credit and to pay their rent. They need jobs to pay their mortgages or to put money in their 401k or retirement account. Millions of people are living paycheck to paycheck, if they have a paycheck.
“Home foreclosures are skyrocketing, and home values are plunging, banks are failing and we are still spending more than $10 billion every month on a war in Iraq that should never have been waged.
“So there is no question that we are confronting an economic and financial crisis.
“But I’m convinced that this bailout plan is not the solution to this mess.
“First, it does little to address the underlying problem – the foreclosure crisis. We need a moratorium on foreclosures and bankruptcy reform to help people stay in their homes.
“Second, this bill should be paid for by the high-flying industry that created this problem. $700 billion should not be given to Wall Street and the Bush Administration unless those who cause this mess pay for it. We should also prohibit the tax deductibility -and my bill the Income Equity Act (H.R. 3876) would do this across the board - of executive compensation in any company where the highest paid corporate officer is paid more than 25 the times the pay of a bailed-out company’s lowest-paid worker.
“And third, we need an economic stimulus package to deal with the crushing reality of the recession that is hitting people hard and growing every day.
“I cannot vote to reward those predatory and subprime lenders who are creating such havoc in the lives of millions of Americans.
“There is a better way.”
What is this elusive "better way" that corporate media and Congressional leaders have refused to include in the recently failed legislation, you ask?
Click here to read about what we should echo throughout all media outlets, courtesy of the good folks at the online journal, ShelterForce .