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Public Statements

Congressional Oversight

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT -- (Senate - September 24, 2008)


Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, first I want to say how proud I am to see Senators on the floor, and others I have spoken to in meetings, speak up on this issue. I particularly commend the former chairman of the Budget Committee, Senator Judd Gregg. Senator Gregg, I was chairman of the committee when the Resolution Trust Corporation--another one of these where a group of banks, called savings and loans, were going broke and the Federal Government had to step in. I recall having gone through what you are going through. What is the real value? How much is the real cost?

I do laud your statesmanship and your ability to tell it to us the way it is. I thank you for it. I recommend you make your expertise available to the Senate because this is not a Republican issue, this is an American issue. The facts as you know them are as important to Democrats as they are to us.

I commend you for that, and our leader, who made a forceful statement today that delays are not the order of the day, that something must be done.

I talk of this issue--I have spoken two times or three times for at least 10 minutes on the issue and never once in those speeches did I mention ``Wall Street'' or ``bailout,'' because I think it is neither. It has nothing to do with either of those. Wall Street is a location. As far as a bailout, this has nothing to do with Wall Street. The credit market of the United States, that which makes money available day by day to the people of our country for any and everything--their car, the new car they bought, the house they added on to that they want to pay for--anything you want to think of that requires the exchange of money or the payment of something by a check, all of this requires liquidity. It requires that money move. When money is stopped, the whole thing stops.

The best that we have in America, the two men representing the executive branch, I think are as good as we could have. They are telling us they have a way to attack that problem and perhaps come out of it without having to spend all the money we put up, that we will let the Treasury Department use to try to buy these assets that are stopping up things and take them to the trust corporation and see what happens over time.

In the meantime, the money for Americans must be loosened. That is the whole issue. I am glad we are talking about it forthrightly and honestly and that each Senator who has spoken has spoken of the fact that we ought to get this done as soon as possible. Time is hurting Americans, and the longer we wait the more difficult it gets for us to get it done.

I also laud the two candidates for President. It is no use running for President of the United States if, when you get there, America has gone bankrupt or is in the middle of a recession so big that it approaches a depression.

From my vantage point, things are not going to get better until we do something rather extraordinary. Two experts have told us what that is. They have a plan. I don't have a plan. I hope other people don't have plans. I hope we build on the plan submitted to us.

With that, I will yield the floor. Once again, I thank Senators who have had the courage and the will to understand that this is a big American problem requiring big actors who are not worried about their reelection but worried about America's future.

I yield the floor.

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