Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today voted against the financial bailout package. Her statement follows:
"Today I voted against passage of a massive $700 billion bailout package. The package before us was far better than the ill conceived plan that Secretary Paulson originally delivered to Congress. We had to act quickly, and I do not fault those of my colleagues who voted yes. While we may have disagreed over this vote, we must agree that addressing the root cause is an imperative.
"Senator McCain and my Republican Colleagues deserve our thanks. They stood up for conservative values and made a dismal proposal far better. Many of the components I objected to in the bill have been addressed. The Government will now be able to insure bad loans rather than purchase them. They will be able to use regulatory tools like the FDIC to increase liquidity without leveraging federal assets. Tennesseans will have vital tax equity provisions restored for another year. Had conservatives not fought for our principles, none of this would be possible.
"Ultimately, raising the debt limit to more than $11 trillion without cutting a single dollar of federal spending was a cost too great to bear. I simply could not vote to inflate the federal debt without cutting a single dollar in federal spending in good conscience. If the American people have to foot the bill for Wall Street greed and the Administration feels this is the most prudent way forward; then every Federal agency should be compelled to do their part and reduce what they are spending.
"Still, I believe that Wall Street has gotten away with armed robbery. They put a gun to the economy's head and told us that unless we forked over $700 billion, they would shoot.
"I am skeptical that this bailout will be the great salvation the Administration told us it would be. Too much has been left unaddressed. The government policy that drove us into this mess remains in place. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives have paid no price for their excesses. Many Members of Congress are unresolved to take the important next step.
"I believe firmly that to put our financial house in order, we must begin to reverse the debilitating policies of the past. The Community Reinvestment Act must be reformed or eliminated and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must be privatized or dismantled. We must pull government out of the mortgage market as quickly as possible. It is government intervention in the process and hastily crafted legislation that becomes law that started this crisis- it must stop. I pledge that when Congress returns in January, I will make that my first priority."