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Congressman Gregory Meeks lauds passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Representative Gregory W. Meeks (NY-6) voted with his colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pass H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to help address the current economic crisis facing American families and the national economy. "We are facing the most significant economic downturn our nation has seen since the Great Depression. It is as serious as any that has faced this nation and my colleagues and I were committed to working in a bipartisan way to address this crisis," said Congressman Meeks.

Today, the House considered the Senate passed economic rescue legislation that included a number of tax cuts for Americans on Main Street. Among the provisions of the bill include clean renewable American energy tax incentives which are critical to creating and saving half a million green jobs and helping us achieve energy independence, tax cuts for 20 million families who could be hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax, extensions of expiring business and family tax cuts, disaster relief, mental health parity to end coverage discrimination, and other provisions. Following Monday's vote in the House, the stock market plunged steeply, costing the American economy more than $1.2 trillion. Middle class Americans instantly saw their 401ks and pension plans - in some cases their only nest eggs - lose tremendous value.

"Without decisive action, most experts believed our economic situation will only grow worse if this Congress does nothing to address the crisis, our credit markets will freeze and Main Street will suffer. Families struggling in New York's 6th Congressional District and hard working Americans who run small businesses across our nation expect the Members of this Congress to provide leadership and provide an solution to the collective crisis," said Congressman Meeks. "I believe that we've done this today, and in so doing, we will help to stem the tide of foreclosures in my district, restore confidence in our financial markets and ensure that families living paycheck-to-paycheck will not see their credit card limits slashed and interest rates increase, they will continue to be able to take out basic home and car loans, and employers and small businesses will continue to be able to make their payrolls and see their businesses flourish," added the Congressman.

The improved bill also includes an increase in federal coverage of bank deposits to $250,000 as well as this Congress's top priorities:

• Strong independent oversight, transparency, and accountability requiring Congressional review after the first $350 billion is disbursed;
• Limits on excessive compensation for CEOs and executives of participating financial institutions;
• Requiring a plan that would ensure taxpayers are repaid in full—or even make a profit;
• A $1000 tax break for 28 million American homeowners who don't itemize and desperately need property tax relief; and
• Requiring the government to steer mortgages in danger of foreclosure to loan workout programs to prevent the foreclosures that are driving down home values across America.

Congressman Meeks and his colleagues in the House worked closely with the Administration and the Senate in a bipartisan way to protect the American taxpayer and pass this critically important economic rescue legislation that protects the taxpayer and helps Americans struggling financially on Main Street, and not just financial institutions on Wall Street.

"Additionally, I am pleased that this measure includes a provision that I advocated for with House Leadership that encourages the Treasury Department to buy assets from financial institutions serving low- and moderate-income population and underserved communities and the bill requires Treasury to set and follow standards for involving proven, qualified minority and women-owned businesses in contracts for asset management and other services," said Congressman Meeks.

"Ultimately, I decided to support this bill after receiving significant input from my constituents, as well as from experts from around the country and after careful consideration of the language in the bill, because I believed that the bill supports the American taxpayer," added the Congressman.

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