Today, I voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. This was one of the toughest decisions I have made in my 14 years as a United States Congressman, and I know that many of my constituents will be disappointed with my vote. They, like myself, are concerned about the state of our economy and the impact the turmoil on Wall Street may have on their retirement savings, pension fund, or even bank account. However, as concerned as I am about our economy, the cost and significance of this bill coupled with the haste in which it was crafted was of greater concern to me.
In the last several months, I have followed the turmoil in the markets and the problems facing our financial institutions. I have participated in discussions with Treasury Secretary Paulson, Chairman Bernanke, and President Bush, and have listened to their concerns. I understand the severity of the current situation and believe action must be taken to stabilize our financial system.
While I respect the opinions and ideas of the Secretary, the Chairman, and the President, I cannot take a risk with $700 billion in taxpayer money without more details and reassurances. After all, it was Wall Street’s risky behavior that brought us to this situation today. As a United States Congressman, I made a commitment to the people of my district, and I must live up to that commitment. As we move forward, I will continue to work to address the challenges facing our financial system.
The House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act today. It passed by a vote of 263-171. It will be presented to the President, who has indicated he will sign the bill into law.