Gillibrand explains "no" vote for financial bailout proposal
By Matthew J. Perry
On Monday evening, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Congresswoman of New York’s 20th district, voted against a bill that would have approved a bailout package for the nation’s financial sector. The bill failed to pass in the House of Representatives by a vote of 228-205.
Gillibrand released the following statement to explain her vote: “While I am fully aware of the seriousness of the financial problems in the market, I do not believe the bill Congress voted on today was the right approach. The bill has insufficient oversight and protections and does not address the root causes of the crisis or the poor economy."
“While the bill is better than the three-page document the Bush Administration tried to ram through Congress last week, Secretary Paulson’s plan is fundamentally flawed. Moreover, I do not believe Upstate New York taxpayers should pay for the excesses of Wall Street....
“We need to help firms recapitalize, and this should be done without solely using taxpayer money. The federal government should work with firms to accurately write down the values of these assets in order to restore confidence in the system and allow investors to begin buying and selling again. Firms should be required to raise their capital standards, and if the federal government needs to intervene, then they should receive a fair equity stake in the company in order to protect the taxpayer.
“If taxpayer funds are invested, then we would need much stricter executive compensation limits, so that Wall Street executives are not financially rewarded for the crisis they have created. To calm fears, we should raise the FDIC insured limits. Furthermore, we need to put in place regulatory measures that will prevent this type of economic meltdown in the future, so that the middle class’ savings will not be threatened again because of Wall Street mismanagement and greed,” Rep. Gillibrand concluded.