Today, Monday, September 29, 2008, I cast the most difficult vote I have faced during five terms in Congress. I voted YES on H.R. 3997: The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. After much reflection and deliberation, I decided that the risk of doing nothing to stabilize the economy was too great and that, in the final analysis, I had to support this package. Regardless, the measure failed.
Many of you have contacted my office to express your concerns about the legislation. I want you to know that I appreciate all of your input and am grateful for the feedback. In fact, I shared many of your concerns about the proposal.
As I reported last week, many experts believe that this is the biggest economic crisis our nation has faced in decades. They have warned that we are facing a major decrease in access to credit and all Americans could be impacted in some way. Our ability to obtain a mortgage, car loan, home equity loan or a student loan will be severely restricted. Small businesses could have difficulty obtaining loans which could also contribute to job losses. Experts believe that the structure of the American economy is wavering. Just today, a major American bank was taken over and a major European bank was nationalized. As I write this newsletter, the market is down another 600 points and that directly impacts our public and private pension funds, our IRAs, our 401Ks and the entire economy directly and indirectly.
I think that the legislation before the House today was a vast improvement over the three page draft submitted last week by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Limits on executive compensation were included, help for qualified homeowners facing foreclosure and help for tenants living in foreclosed homes. In addition, I was pleased to see that the package called for deadlines on recommendations for additional necessary regulations on the financial industry. Developing comprehensive regulatory reform will take time, and I was encouraged that the foundation was established through this measure.
It is not clear where we go from here. Currently, House and Senate leaders are reviewing a number of additional courses of action. I will continue to provide updates as this situation develops further. As always, I thank you for sharing your opinions with me. The entire roll is recorded below:
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