Rep. Brian Bilbray today voted to oppose House passage of the $811.9 billion Wall Street bailout proposal expressing strong opposition to the pork-barrel spending provisions added to the Senate package that was voted on earlier in the week.
"It is absolutely mind-boggling that people in Washington who claim to care about stabilizing our financial markets believe the best way to do that is to load up an already bad proposal with egregious pork-barrel spending," Rep. Bilbray said. "Someone needs to be looking out for the interests of the American taxpayers and there is no way you can tell me that providing $148 million for wool fabric producers, $128 million for auto-racing tracks, or $192 million for Puerto Rican and Virgin Island rum producers is responsible action to address our economic crisis to name a few."
Rep. Bilbray criticized the plan's omission of provisions that would address the root causes of the financial crisis - the social engineering of the mortgage market.
"It is astounding that this proposal still does absolutely nothing to address the systemic problems that caused this meltdown," Rep. Bilbray added. "Congress is too preoccupied with having the appearance that they are doing something rather than actually addressing the root causes of our economic crisis."
The 451-page proposal, which started at three-pages, and has grown to cost more than $811.9 billion, included new and targeted provisions aimed at winning over support from lawmakers who had previously opposed the massive Wall Street bailout plan.
"Washington is truly broken. Rather than trying to address the substantive concerns that led to the bill's defeat on Monday, Congressional deal-brokers went behind closed doors and doled out the pork to win support for a bad measure that sells out the taxpayers," Rep. Bilbray said. "While I am not opposed to appropriate and responsible government action, socializing the capital market at the expense of the taxpayer is wrong and saddles future generations with billions of dollars of potential debt."
Some of the provisions that were added to the bill include:
* $192 million for Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands Rum Producers (Section 308)
* $128 million for Auto-racing Tracks (Section 317)
* $148 million for Wool Fabric Producers (Section 325)
* $33 million for Corporations Operating in American Samoa (Section 309)
* $10 million for Small-to-Medium film and television productions (Section 502)
NOTE: Since March, the United States government has approved more than $614 billion for bailouts including $29 billion to rescue Bear Stearns, $300 billion for a housing "rescue" bill, $200 billion to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and another $85 billion to save AIG from bankruptcy.