“I spent this past week meeting with experts, other members of Congress and the Administration to discuss the details of this legislation. I also sought counsel from our local community bankers and listened to my constituents. I heard good arguments for and against this legislation, but ultimately determined that this package was not something I could support.
“I believe that Congress needs to take steps to stabilize the financial markets and bolster consumer confidence. However, this bailout plan would have exposed taxpayers to a risk of $700 billion to buy toxic assets at inflated prices. The Treasury would then sell those same assets to investors at possibly lower prices. It seems to me that under this plan Wall Street would benefit at the expense of the taxpayers. That is not acceptable. This proposal was a Wall Street insider solution to a problem created largely by bad business decisions on Wall Street, at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and elsewhere.
“Additionally, this legislation could have resulted in billions of dollars being used to buy the toxic assets currently held by foreign investors. Again, this is unacceptable to American taxpayers.
“This legislation would have granted the Treasury Secretary unprecedented authority. I was not prepared to grant this much power to this or any other Treasury Secretary.
“Furthermore, this legislation failed to reassure depositors that their money is safe. I believe one immediate step Congress should take is to increase the FDIC limits from $100,000 to $300,000 so all Americans know that their money is protected and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.
“As was stated in a letter by nearly 400 economists questioning the fairness of the plan, the proposal was ‘a subsidy to investors at taxpayers’ expense. Investors who took risks to earn profits must also bear the losses. The government can ensure a well-functioning financial industry… without bailing out particular investors and institutions whose choices proved unwise.’
“Although this legislation failed, I am committed to working with my colleagues to pass measures that will stabilize the markets, restore consumer confidence, and protect taxpayers.”
Monday, September 29, 2008
Dent Votes to Reject Bailout
Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent is among those who voted to reject the $700 billion Wall Street bailout today.