MSNBC - Transcript
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SEN. DOMENICI: (In progress) -- you bet, you bet.
I was for what's being added before this and I was for the package without adding it. So it's fine for me. If you want to add something that's very good, like the tax extenders for wind and solar, and if you want to do the other things that are in the extenders and put that on -- I think you're going to also add 150,000 (dollars) so it will be 250,000 (dollars) for your -- the amount that will be guaranteed on savings accounts. So we'll do that also. That's a very positive thing for people.
MS. BREWER: Given the number of House Republicans who voted against this bill, are you at all concerned that adding more tag-ons will actually discourage some Republicans from voting for this?
SEN. DOMENICI: Well, you know, I'm in the Senate, and I've been here a long time, so I know what happens when certain things are done. I would assume somebody whose expert on the House understands that if you add these things, it is more attractive to members of the House, that they will feel more comfortable telling their constituents that we got some very important things for alternative energy. We made it so that your savings accounts can be insured up to 250,000 (dollars). By doing that, that House members -- I don't know how many -- will like it more than without it. I don't know the answer. I would assume that or I wouldn't be doing it.
MS. BREWER: Although, Senator, some of the problems that the Republicans had with this is the fact that our government is growing its deficit by passing this bill --
SEN. DOMENICI: Yeah.
MS. BREWER: -- and so they're skeptical that some of the things that the government is going to pay for will do the job it's intended to do. I mean, you served --
SEN. DOMENICI: Yes, ma'am. Yes ma'am. Let me --
MS. BREWER: -- on the -- you -- go ahead.
SEN. DOMENICI: Let me tell you how far astray we've gotten from reality. This is not a $700 billion bailout. We're not bailing anybody out. We're going to buy things. We're purchasing assets. We can only do this for two years, and then the authority stops. And it -- the experts say when we buy things to unclog -- unclog the channel so money can flow, that what we get back we're going to be able to sell at more than we paid for it, and this probably will cost far less than $700,000 (sic).
So we have to get that out. This is not a bailout, it is a buyout. And what we're buying is worth something and it will be worth more if we can hold it for a couple of years and then sell it back into a better market. So I don't think the idea that we're getting bigger government and bigger deficits falls through if you really think it through and analyze it right.
MS. BREWER: Yeah. Senator, given your personal experience -- you served on the Senate Budget Committee during the savings and loans crisis in the '80s.
SEN. DOMENICI: Yeah.
MS. BREWER: You served during the recession in the '90s, so you have a lot of experience here.
SEN. DOMENICI: Yes, I do.
MS. BREWER: Are you optimistic that this plan, however it comes out between the House and the Senate --
SEN. DOMENICI: Yes.
MS. BREWER: -- will spur the economy to heal itself?
SEN. DOMENICI: I'm sure that it will take care of one of the giant problems that's facing the American economy, which is the liquidity, the money flowing between banks -- between banks and their clientele, because the rivers of finance are flowing again. I'm sure that will work.
Will it make the economy recover from a quasi-recession? I don't think that's going to happen overnight. But certainly you could not recover from a recession without doing this. So you have to do this. So that's one of the big tools to help you through this.
I want to mention one other thing. You said I had experience. I did, ma'am. I had experience when we passed a similar act -- you don't remember it, but I do -- for the savings and loan. We were -- everybody said, don't do it. You're bailing out the bad S&Ls. What happened? After the accounting was all done, we made money on the deal. We spent $350 billion cleaning up a mess in the savings and loans, very similar. And when it was through, we did -- the assets that we acquired became valuable. The accounting showed the government made money, didn't lose it. So that's the experience of something similar -- this is a cleaner transaction than that.
MS. BREWER: Yeah. It's good to know.
Senator Domenici, thank you so much for your time today.
SEN. DOMENICI: I thank you.