Press Release

Congresswoman Castor's statement on Senate Amendments to H.R. 3997 - Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

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Washington, October 3, 2008 | Ellen Gedalius ((813)871-2817) | comments
The bailout bill does not address the fundamental root causes of the economic crisis or the concerns I have consistently expressed. After assisting hundreds of Tampa Bay area families at my foreclosure workshops this summer, I could not in good conscience vote for a $700 billion Wall Street bailout that does not help middle-class families. They need mandatory “workout” provisions that require refinancing so they can achieve a little breathing room, keep paying mortgages and remain in their homes. Keeping families in their homes in our community means that our neighborhoods will not deteriorate and our property values will not fall.
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The bailout bill does not address the fundamental root causes of the economic crisis or the concerns I have consistently expressed. After assisting hundreds of Tampa Bay area families at my foreclosure workshops this summer, I could not in good conscience vote for a $700 billion Wall Street bailout that does not help middle-class families. They need mandatory “workout” provisions that require refinancing so they can achieve a little breathing room, keep paying mortgages and remain in their homes. Keeping families in their homes in our community means that our neighborhoods will not deteriorate and our property values will not fall.

Taxpayers are not protected. I am concerned that taxpayers will never recoup monies used to wipe debts away from financial institutions and to buy toxic securities. I hope and pray that I am wrong. I regret that other reasonable approaches were not examined and I regret that innocent, law-abiding taxpayers and future generations now carry the burden for the misdeeds of others. A $700 billion purchase of securities of questionable value is simply the wrong approach.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders worked hard to move this bill beyond the original two and one-half pages that the Bush Administration proposed last week. However all these bipartisan efforts do not ease my concern that underlying this bill is the original thin plan that comes with a huge price tag and without guarantees of success. We need to do something, but something this monumental deserves Congress taking the time to get it right – fast and wrong is what got us into the mess we are in.

Now that the bailout bill has passed, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will investigate these critical matters. We must hold accountable the people and firms responsible for this mess. I will keep a close eye on the Administration’s bailout program. Significant reform encompassing a truly comprehensive solution to the economic downturn must be a priority from this point on.
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