UPDATED—-Reps. Steve Pearce, a Republican, and Tom Udall, a Democrat, both voted against the $700 financial rescue plan presented in the House today.
Rep. Heather Wilson, a Republican, voted for it.
Here's Udall's statement:
“For eight years, the Bush Administration and its allies in Congress have allowed Wall Street to gamble with America's economy, and the results have been devastating for Main Street. The Administration consistently ignored the experts and failed to adequately oversee America's financial markets. Administration officials were warned that Wall Street's risky investments, combined with the mortgage industry's irresponsible practices, could produce a perfect storm that would threaten Americans' homes, jobs and life savings. Yet they did nothing.
“Unfortunately, the Administration’s response was a $700 billion bailout with virtually no protections for American taxpayers. Congress made significant changes to the president’s proposal, but I believe we should have taken more time to get this right. Four hundred of the nation’s leading economists, including three Nobel laureates, have asked Congress to take more time to improve this proposal, and we should have heeded that advice.
“The proposal we voted on today still contains significant flaws. For example, under this proposal:
· The Treasury is given unprecedented power to spend taxpayer money without adequate oversight or an actual plan for fixing the systemic problems that led America to this crisis.
· Corporate executives who ran their companies into the ground can still walk away with millions in taxpayer-funded golden parachutes.
· Taxpayer dollars are being spent to bail out foreign companies whose governments are doing nothing.
· Little is being done to help responsible homeowners. Tens of thousands of families could lose their homes. More importantly, families who had nothing to do with failed mortgages could lose billions in assets as foreclosures continue to drive down property values.
“I believe we must take action to protect middle class families and to make our economy produce jobs again. But I cannot vote for a Wall Street bailout that does not solve the underlying problems with our economy. I will continue working with my colleagues to reform America's financial markets, so Wall Street is not allowed to make the same mistakes over and over again. I will also continue fighting to support middle class New Mexico families that find themselves struggling in an economy devastated by the irresponsible acts of others. They are the true victims of the Bush Administration's reckless neglect of our economy. We must do what's right for them.”
Here's Pearce's statement:
"New Mexico taxpayers were not protected under this legislation. I strongly disapprove of putting taxpayers on the hook in order to bailout the Wall Street firms that got us in to this crisis. Those who made risky decisions should own up to them.
"We still need solutions. This bill was not our only option. We now need to rewrite the bill to incorporate real taxpayer protections, market solutions instead of massive government intervention and correct the abuses that caused the problem.
"Going forward, legislation should include accountability for those who created the mess, transparency so investors can make informed decisions, limitations on leveraging so financial institutions are not allowed to overextend, end "naked" short selling, and favor market principles over government intrusion.
"I have cosponsored an alternative to today's bill that more closely reflects these principles and truly protects the taxpayer, creates market incentives to create capital and reforms certain investment vehicles so we're not back here faced with the same problem."
And Here's Wilson's statement:
“No one wanted to be in this situation today. I felt it was important for Congress to act to stabilize our financial markets. Today’s bill was a “work out” not a “bail out” and had protections for taxpayers and homeowners. The bill would have given needed liquidity to the financial industry and let taxpayers share in the profits as mortgage markets recover. The bill failed by a vote of 205-228. I will continue to work with my colleagues to find a solution and move forward.”