Today, Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH), voted against the Wall Street bailout, rejecting the false choice that it was this flawed bailout bill or no bill at all. Sutton voted against the bill because it did not provide the necessary protections for taxpayers and help for struggling American families. Congresswoman Sutton is calling on the Administration to reconsider its rejection of supporting a jobs stimulus package that will benefit hardworking Americans and our communities, not just a bailout for Wall Street. The jobs stimulus package, which passed the House last week, would cost less than 10% of the $700 billion bailout the President requested for Wall Street, and would directly invest in creating jobs.
"The recent financial crisis facing our country is the result of an arrogant and reckless Bush Administration which failed to provide reasonable oversight of our financial markets. Yet these same people who have failed to responsibly regulate Wall Street asked Congress to provide $700 billion without necessary judicial review or strong Congressional oversight to ensure that this money is used responsibly.
Approximately 200 economists, including 3 Nobel Prize Recipients sent a petition objecting to the plan, saying that it was too vague and unclear, and urging that Congress not be rushed into passing a flawed bailout. It would have been a mistake to pass this flawed bill just to pass a bill; we need a quality plan with long-term objectives, not just a quick fix with no guarantees for success.
There were several problems in the failed proposal, which made it unacceptable, such as the failure to include strong and independent oversight, strong executive compensation limits, sensible regulation, and bankruptcy reforms to help homeowners. These flaws in conjunction with the failure to provide our working families with the opportunities that the jobs stimulus package would provide made voting for the measure untenable.
The stimulus bill would provide critical funding for infrastructure, renewable energy development and other initiatives to spur job and economic growth in our country. The plan would help American families and cost less than a tenth of the price tag for the bailout Bush is seeking for Wall Street. But astonishingly, President Bush has indicated he won't support the stimulus measure.
It is hard to imagine that this President would oppose such a modest measure to help struggling American families, all the while pushing a nearly trillion dollar package for the financial industry. Those most responsible for this mess are let off the hook with barely a slap on the wrist and, in fact, stand to profit from this help from American taxpayers. We cannot privatize profit, protect corporate CEOs and force the American people to bear all of the risk with no reward. Our country needs an economic plan that will bring renewed vitality and job growth to our communities, not just a bailout for the firms that caused this crisis on Wall Street. America's families and communities deserve a better option than the flawed bill defeated today and I am committed to working in every way possible on a bill that will effectively respond to their needs and our economic crisis."