Monday, September 29, 2008

Gingrey (R-GA) Votes Against Bailout; Calls for Market-Driven Response

U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey today voted against the Wall Street bailout proposal but called on Congress to immediately return to DC after Rosh Hashanah to work on the issue.

“Thanks to the efforts of Senator McCain, John Boehner and other conservative Members of Congress, the bill we voted on today is vastly better for the taxpayer than the bill that was originally proposed,” said Gingrey. “Senator McCain and Leader Boehner were resolute in their opposition to Democratic proposals that would steer revenues from this program into the coffers of liberal groups like ACORN. Thanks to their leadership, the final text of this bill rejected this provision as well as giveaways to union bosses.”

“Despite these improvements, I still do not believe this bill goes far enough to protect Main Street. Once the government steps in and puts these troubled institutions back in business, we must ensure that they cannot make the same greedy and irresponsible decisions that got us into this mess.”

“We simply cannot preserve our free market economy by sacrificing the very principles that underlie it. I have heard loud and clear from my constituents throughout Northwest Georgia, and they do not want to gamble hundreds of billions of their hard-earned tax dollars on Wall Street’s poor choices. They want to preserve our financial system, but demand that we think more about the taxpayer in developing the solution to this mess than Washington and Wall Street did when they got us into it.”

“Along with a number of my colleagues, I have cosponsored a free-market alternative to tackle this economic crisis while protecting the taxpayer. To date, however, the Democratic Leadership has refused to even consider this alternative. I understand the need for swift action, but I cannot understand leaving options off the table that could provide market liquidity and restore confidence in our financial system with far less risk to the taxpayer.”

“Make no mistake, inaction is NOT an option. I think everyone can agree that something must be done to stem the economic crisis facing our nation – and I hope we move as quickly as possible to work on and approve that plan. However, while the bill we voted on today aims to be an answer to this economic turmoil, I do not believe it is the best one. A commitment to our core Democratic values isn’t something that changes with the weather. It is in our most difficult crises that the true measure of our principles shines through. During times such as the financial crisis we currently face, we must stand firm in these principles for the good of the American people.”

*The centerpiece of the alternative introduced by Rep. Gingrey and other conservative colleagues is the creation of a fee-based insurance protection program for these mortgage-backed securities that would stabilize our financial markets without making the Federal government the nation’s mortgage company. This alternative would also draw private capital into the market by bringing profits from U.S. companies operating overseas back into the United States to be invested. Further, our alternate proposal would enact a two-year suspension of the capital gains tax to encourage businesses to spur investment and create new jobs. Last but certainly not least, this alternative would require real reform to address the root causes of this crisis. Our alternative holds Freddie and Fannie’s feet to the fire to stop unsound mortgages from the start, imposes new commonsense regulatory rules to ensure the true economic value of these assets, and establishes a policy to strengthen the value of the American dollar.

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