Progressives Push for Bankruptcy Reform and Economic Stimulus
See Below for the Action Step You Should Take Today: The Battle of the Bailout is Not Yet Over
The Senate voted 75-25 in favor of the bailout, with support from both sides of the aisle, essentially an even vote between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. See http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00212 for vote count. The Senate included a host of tax breaks for businesses and families in order to make the bill more popular.
Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Russ Feingold used their no votes to put out good statements opposing the bailout. Sanders has a comprehensive critique he said: “If a bailout is needed, if taxpayer money must be placed at risk, if we are going to bail out Wall Street, it should be those people who have caused the problem, those people who have benefited from President Bush's tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, those people who have taken advantage of deregulation who should pick up the tab, not ordinary working people.” Sanders had urged a modest tax on the wealthiest Americans to pay for the bailout; a five-year, 10 percent surtax on families with incomes of more than $1 million year and individuals earning over $500,000 to raise $300 billion to help bankroll the bailout. Senators, however, set aside the amendment on a voice vote. Some highlights of Sanders speech:
“This bill does not effectively address the issue of what the taxpayers of our country will actually own after they invest hundreds of billions of dollars in toxic assets. This bill does not effectively address the issue of oversight because the oversight board members have all been hand picked by the Bush administration. This bill does not effectively deal with the issue of foreclosures and addressing that very serious issue, which is impacting millions of low- and moderate-income Americans in the aggressive, effective way that we should be. This bill does not effectively deal with the issue of executive compensation and golden parachutes. Under this bill, the CEOs and the Wall Street insiders will still, with a little bit of imagination, continue to make out like bandits.”
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