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MSNBC Interview - Transcript


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Q Marsha Blackburn is a Republican from Tennessee. She sits on the Financial Services Committee and voted against the bill. Good morning to you, Marsha.

REP. BLACKBURN: Good morning.

Q All right. Break it down for me. Is that speech the reason you voted against this bill?

REP. BLACKBURN: No, that speech was not the reason I voted against the bill. The reason I voted against the bill was because it was too much bailout and not enough workout for us to get to the finish line. And the American people, as you were hearing in the interviews, they want to make certain that they are not the rescuer of first resort to end this.

The other thing -- what we saw in this legislation was a raising of the debt limit to $11.3 trillion. Now, the reason that is significant is because when we did the budget legislation earlier this year, we raised the debt limit to $9.8 trillion. And we were coming right in behind that with the rescue package and raising it again.

Q Well, but Marsha, since you're throwing that trillion- dollar number around, let me just tell you, you called this $700 billion budget package a, quote, "disastrous legislative product." Then yesterday you see the Dow dive 778 points. That equals $1.2 trillion of paper money lost just yesterday. So it's hard for the American public, I think, to understand the logic of voting no against this. They lost some money yesterday anyway.

REP. BLACKBURN: What the American people know and what they have responded to is that this is $700 billion of taxpayer money that was being committed basically as a blank check, a $250 billion blank check to Secretary Paulson. That is an action they did not want Congress to take. They did not want to see Congress give that authority.

Now, we are all committed to finding a resolution to this issue, and finding a resolution to it by week's end. I think what you saw yesterday from both Democrats and Republicans was that this package that had been presented was not the way the American people, that our constituents wanted us to move forward on the bill.

Now, I commend all the negotiators, from both sides, that worked to find a product, and they are still working. We are all working to make certain that by week's end we've got something. But there are some other issues that need to come to the table. FDIC insurance increases --

Q Well, I was going to ask you: What will it take for you to vote yes?

REP. BLACKBURN: Well, what -- some of the things we want to see -- first of all, as you look at the -- increasing the debt limit, let's talk about spending reductions for the federal government, requiring every agency to step in and do this. Five percent across the board gives you a hundred -- 3 billion dollars. Let's talk about the liquidity issues that are affecting our capital and our credit markets, and marked-to-market accounting, reinstating the uptick rule, making certain that FDIC insurance limits are increased -- haven't done that in 28 years -- making certain that cap gains is suspended for a couple of years, looking at repatriation of foreign -- of U.S. companies with the money that they have earned offshore and bringing that back in. There are so many free market-oriented portions of this proposal, of the discussion that are still there.

And I think what we saw yesterday was people responded to constituents who were saying: Let's make certain we put some more free-market components. They want to see Wall Street have some skin in the game. They want it to be a workout plan and not a bailout plan, and we're all committed to finding a resolution to this.

Q All right. We'll see if we can get it done by the end of the week.

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, thanks so much for your time.

REP. BLACKBURN: We are determined to get it done.

Thank you so much.

Q Thank you so much.

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