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Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Ladies and gentlemen, you would think that the Republicans were somewhere on another planet. Let me correct the situation, if I may.
First of all, this was a problem that occurred under the Bush administration because of policies by the Republicans, who were in charge. It was indeed Paulson, our Secretary of the Treasury, that came to our Financial Services Committee with two pieces of paper and said here is what you need to fix it. Throw all of this money at Wall Street.
Let's give the truth in this matter. It was under Democratic leadership that we said ``no.'' Yes, we have a credit problem, a credit freeze of the credit markets up on Wall Street. And here we were. And I know sometimes the truth hurts, and I feel their pain over there. But I am sick and tired of our Republican friends assuming that they had no responsibility for this, Mr. Speaker. And we've got to set the record straight. It is in the charge of Democrats, under our leadership, that we indeed are saddled with the responsibility of bringing the confidence of the American people back to our private enterprise system and to keep it free. It is because of what the Democrats are doing that we are saving our free economic system. Under their policies it was heading to straight ruin, causing the worst economic collapse second only to the Depression.
So we are moving here today with this extraordinary bill to do everything possible to make sure that it never happens again, to restore the confidence of the American people. And we are beginning to do that. We are doing it by setting up a consumer protection agency, something we didn't have before. That's the reason this happened. They went to predatory lending, they went to steering people into subprime lending when they could have afforded other loans. There was no protection for them. Democrats are providing this protection. They were doing it because we had executive compensation pay geared to risky behavior. This is an important bill.
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