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  1. #1
    April
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    House opens debate on Bailout

    President Bush Urges Quick Approval

    The House began a heated debate this morning on legislation that would authorize what is likely to become the biggest federal government bailout in the nation's history, shortly after President Bush urged lawmakers to act quickly to approve the $700 billion financial system bailout bill hammered out over the weekend.


    "A vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community" by stabilizing financial markets and renewing the flow of credit, Bush said, attempting to undercut arguments that the proposed legislation bolsters Wall Street at taxpayers' expense. "This is a bold bill that will keep the crisis in our financial system from spreading through our economy."

    "Today's the decision day. I wish it weren't the case," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and co-author of the legislation that was crafted in marathon negotiating sessions with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.

    Frank said no lawmaker wants to approve such a large bailout that was made necessary by the mistakes of Wall Street financiers and the mortgage industry, but inaction risked a more widespread financial meltdown. If nothing is done, he said, "the consequences will be much more severe."

    With three hours of debate beginning just before 9:30 a.m., lawmakers expect a vote to be wrapped up before 1 p.m. Eastern time. Leaders of both parties are supporting the measure, but neither side has given a public estimate of how much support they have.

    During early morning votes on noncontroversial matters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hurried around the chamber floor, button-holing rank-and-file members and showing them papers, asking for their support.

    After a week of political tumult and deepening economic anxiety, congressional leaders yesterday rallied support for the historic proposal, which would grant the government vast new powers over Wall Street and offer fresh help to homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

    The proposed legislation would authorize Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. to initiate what is likely to become the biggest government bailout in U.S. history, allowing him to spend up to $700 billion to relieve faltering banks and other firms of bad assets backed by home mortgages, which are falling into foreclosure at record rates.

    The plan would give Paulson broad latitude to purchase any assets from any firms at any price and to assemble a team of individuals and institutions to manage them. In wielding those powers, Paulson and others hope to contain a crisis that already has caused the failure or forced the rescue of a half-dozen major Wall Street firms and unnerved markets around the world.

    The measure was forged during a marathon negotiating session between lawmakers from both parties and Paulson -- who at one point appeared to negotiators to be on the verge of collapse. Restive Republican lawmakers originally criticized the package as putting taxpayers at risk and violating free-market principles, but many of them appeared yesterday to be dropping their opposition.

    House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) emerged last night from a meeting of House Republicans to say he is "encouraging every member whose conscience will allow them to support this." Boehner said he and other GOP leaders made the case that negotiators had improved the bill by gaining a key concession on a plan to limit taxpayer exposure.



    Although it has been panned as a massive bailout for Wall Street financiers, Bush argued in a statement yesterday that the bill would have broad benefits for ordinary families and business owners who need "access to credit" to "make purchases, ship goods and meet their payrolls."


    "This plan sends a strong signal to markets around the world that the United States is serious about restoring confidence and stability to our financial system," Bush said. "Without this rescue plan, the costs to the American economy could be disastrous."

    Bush has stressed that the ultimate cost of the bailout would be much less than $700 billion because the government would eventually sell the assets it purchases and recover most, if not all, of its investment.

    Still, Bush this morning noted the political stakes for lawmakers who face "a difficult vote" barely a month before the November elections. Polls show the bailout is hugely unpopular, and lawmakers have been inundated with calls and e-mails from angry constituents. With investors hanging on every twist of the debate in Washington, leaders in both chambers predicted that the bill would pass.

    "If we do this and it works right, it's most likely that people will never appreciate how close we came to the brink. So there's not much political upside to this," said Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the lead negotiator for Senate Republicans. But lawmakers are ready to support the bill, Gregg said, because they know "we are facing a crisis of proportions that are almost incomprehensible."

    The scope of the crisis was laid out 11 days ago during a late-night meeting in the Capitol where Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned lawmakers that an imminent meltdown in financial markets threatened to destroy the wealth and jobs of millions of Americans. Two days later, Paulson presented lawmakers with a three-page economic rescue plan that would have granted the Treasury nearly unfettered power to shore up the nation's financial system, unchecked by federal or judicial review.


    By yesterday, the measure had grown to 110 pages, many of them devoted to the creation of myriad oversight agencies, including an independent inspector general. Still, the measure would give Paulson broad authority to create an Office of Financial Stability within the Treasury, to hire its staff and to direct their activities. The head of the office would be subject to Senate confirmation and would be required to quickly publish guidelines for identifying, pricing and purchasing troubled assets.

    Money for the program would be released in segments, with the Treasury secretary receiving $250 billion immediately. Paulson has said he expects to spend about $50 billion a month on the program.

    The Treasury secretary's power to purchase assets would end Dec. 31, 2009, although the next administration could seek a one-year extension. The assets could be held indefinitely and sold when the housing market recovers, theoretically for a profit.

    To protect taxpayers, participating firms would be required to give the government warrants to buy stock so taxpayers could benefit if they return to profitability. If the government does not regain all of its money after five years, the president would be required to submit a plan for recovering the money "from entities benefiting from the program." Given those provisions, some firms might be discouraged from participating, but few have so far indicated their intentions either way.

    The measure also would require federal officials to rein in excessive compensation for corporate executives who participate in the bailout program, a first step toward addressing a longtime Democratic priority. According to a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies, the chief executives of large U.S. companies made an average of $10.5 million last year, 344 times the pay of the average worker.

    The bill also requires Paulson to establish a new federal insurance program, funded by the banks, that would protect firms against loss from troubled assets. Although Paulson and Bernanke had concluded that such a program would not be an effective way to pump needed cash into struggling firms, House Republicans demanded the provision, saying it would offer an alternative method for shoring up companies at no cost to taxpayers.

    Although the bill is likely to have strong support in the Senate, its chances are less clear in the House, where leaders in both parties said they were still unsure how many votes it would receive. Democrats and Republicans were summoned into separate private meetings late yesterday where leaders shared the final details of the bill and urged a vote for its passage.

    After stalling negotiations late last week, key Republicans spoke in support of the measure. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) who helped draft the insurance provision, assured lawmakers that the bill now contains important safeguards for taxpayers. Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.), a moderate who represents many financial services industry executives, said the meeting took on a solemn tone as several retiring lawmakers spoke with passion about the historic nature of what will likely be their last vote.

    Meanwhile, Democrats meeting nearby in the basement of the Capitol also heard a rallying cry from their leaders, who won support from some surprising corners. Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), who represents a conservative-leaning district and is a frequent GOP target, told his colleagues that passing the legislation is more important than winning reelection.

    "I am willing to give up my seat over this," Marshall said, according to one attendee.

    In both meetings, lawmakers continued to worry aloud about how to protect taxpayers from bearing the cost of the bailout, an issue that was also one of the most fiercely contested matters in talks with Paulson early yesterday.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 638&s_pos=

  2. #2
    April
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    HAMMER THEM HARD PATRIOTS!!! LETS STOP IT IN THE DEBATE. THERE ARE LAWMAKERS THAT ARE VERY UNSURE OF VOTING YES, LETS MAKE SURE THEY DON"T!!!!


    TOGETHER WE CAN DO THIS!!!


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Dianne's Avatar
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    A vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community" by stabilizing financial markets and renewing the flow of credit, Bush said, attempting to undercut arguments that the proposed legislation bolsters Wall Street at taxpayers' expense. "This is a bold bill that will keep the crisis in our financial system from spreading through our economy."
    Only another crook would ever believe what comes out the crook Bush's mouth. What got us in this mess to begin with was the over extending of credit and people not being able to pay their bills. So why give the banks trillions more to make more bad loans??

    This entire thing stinks to high heaven and our elected representatives refuse to do what the American people want them to do. It is apparent we are now living under a Russian type dictatorship, and our government is ready to declare martial law and tote all of us complainers to the pokey. I just saw that traitor Richard Burr of NC voted for the bill and I know he received thousands of calls and e mails against it.

  4. #4
    April
    Guest
    There are still quite a few that are faltering on the bill, we need to BLAST THEM AND SHUT THEM DOWN LIKE WE DID WITH AMNESTY!!

    WE CANNOT GIVE UP, THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT AND THE PROPAGANDA THEY ARE PUTTING OUT IS LIES!! ROAR WHILE YOU STILL CAN!! TOGETHER WE CAN DO THIS!! At least we have more time to pound them and I believe that is a direct result of our outrage, they knew they better debate it!!!

    PUT ALL YOUR ANGER INTO ACTION!!!

  5. #5
    MW
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    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    "Today's the decision day. I wish it weren't the case," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and co-author of the legislation that was crafted in marathon negotiating sessions with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.
    Barney Frank's has absolutely no credibility on the issue because he has been part of the problem for some time now! It's like asking the fox to rewire the chicken coop.


    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  6. #6
    April
    Guest
    CALL NOW!!!! PUT ALL YOUR ANGER AT THEIR LIES AND BS INTO ATION!!

    THEY ARE SUCH LIARS WHEN THEY SAY THIS IS NOT AN EASY VOTE....IT IS EASY FOR THEM.....WHAT THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT IS US!! AND THEY SHOULD BE !! WE NEED TO SHUT THE PHONE LINES DOWN!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member tinybobidaho's Avatar
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    I just talked to the staffer at Rep. Bill Sali's office in D.C. I told him that Congress seems to think that the Americans who oppose this bill really don't understand what will happen if this bill is not passed. I told him that the people are not stupid and that they know it will be bumpy for a while, but would be a whole lot bumpier if we allow this disastrous bill to pass. The staffer said all his callers are saying that, and that Sali will not vote for this because it doesn't solve the problem.
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  8. #8
    April
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by tinybobidaho
    I just talked to the staffer at Rep. Bill Sali's office in D.C. I told him that Congress seems to think that the Americans who oppose this bill really don't understand what will happen if this bill is not passed. I told him that the people are not stupid and that they know it will be bumpy for a while, but would be a whole lot bumpier if we allow this disastrous bill to pass. The staffer said all his callers are saying that, and that Sali will not vote for this because it doesn't solve the problem.
    GOOD FOR YOU TINY!!! I HAVE BEEN CALLING EMAILING AND FAXNG!!!! THEY NEED TO KNOW THAT NO MEANS NO!! THESE TRAITORS NEED TO KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET THEM STEAL OUT OF OUR POCKET!!! NO WELFARE FOR FATCATS!!!

  9. #9
    April
    Guest
    IT STATED AT BOTTOM OF SCREEN FINAL VOTE TODAY AT 12:30 ET!!!!

    WE NEED TO BE SCREAMIONG NO!!!! NOW IS THE TIME!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lynne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dianne
    I just saw that traitor Richard Burr of NC voted for the bill and I know he received thousands of calls and e mails against it.
    How is that? The senate won't vote until at least Wednesday. Where did you see that?

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