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Rep. Tom Udall Votes Against Bailout Bill

Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., voted against the $700 billion bill, as well.

Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., voted for the bill, which passed the House.

Here's a statement Udall just released (Wilson's  and Pearce's follow):

 "Four days ago, I opposed a bailout plan that did too little for homeowners, too much for executives, and nothing to prevent Wall Street from repeating the mistakes that got us into this crisis.  The core bailout bill brought before the House today is almost identical. It will still put New Mexico and U.S. taxpayer on the hook for $700 billion to bail out Wall Street, the very people whose irresponsibility helped to undermine America's economy and threaten the jobs and life savings of millions of American families.

"Make no mistake: America faces a serious crisis, and we must do something. But we cannot let fear and artificial timelines drive our decision-making. Our solution should meet the demands of the day without producing more economic hardships in the future.

"The core proposals of the bill sent from the Senate still have the same significant and fundamental flaws as the bill the House rejected. 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 and lavish compensation packages.

·       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.

"Unfortunately, the Senate has chosen to add unrelated provisions rather than concentrating on fixing this deeply flawed proposal. My vote today does not suggest any disagreement with the important package of tax cuts that was added in the last few days.  I have consistently supported tax cuts for the middle class, including fixes for the Alternative Minimum Tax. I have long advocated for mental health parity legislation, and voted for it repeatedly.  I have fought for tax credits to spur green industries and produce jobs.  And I have worked to protect the Secure Rural Schools and Payment In Lieu of Taxes programs that would be extended by this bill. These proposals should be voted on based on their own strong merits, and not forced into a $700 billion taxpayer bailout—a plan that will have a large and widespread impact for generations—that has been rushed through with serious flaws and many problems left unaddressed.

"Regardless of whether or not this legislation passes, Congress must work on a new framework for our financial system. In this hour of crisis, we have a rare opportunity to protect future generations from the turmoil we have seen.  We must seize this opportunity, not simply bail out the very people who created this crisis."

"Today's vote was difficult, but I believe it is what's right for New Mexico's Third Congressional District and the people of New Mexico and our nation.

Heather Wilson's statement:

“It continues to be important for Congress to act to stabilize our financial markets.  A failure of our financial system will hurt every American who has a 401(k) or needs a car loan or can't close on the house they want to buy because banks are stopping lending to banks.

There are also some important tax provisions in this bill that will also help boost our economy.  For example, the package includes an extension of the patch of the Alternative Minimum Tax.  Congress recognized that the failure to act would unacceptably drag twenty-one million additional families into the AMT’s clutches based on their 2008 income, with the total tax increase on American families exceeding $62 billion. 

It also extends the now-expired research and development tax credit, which encourages cutting edge research – and the good jobs it supports – to be conducted here in the U.S.  This provision is particularly good for New Mexico. 

Steve Pearce's statement:

"Average American taxpayers who made responsible decisions, lived within their means and pay their mortgages and rent on time should not be bailing out Wall Street billionaires or corporations who knowingly gave out bad loans.  Middle Class New Mexicans should not see their taxes raised by thousands of dollars while those who got us in this mess walk away with the profits.  Those who have brought us to this position through their own greed should be held accountable.

"While I support some of the changes made in the Senate, such as tax credits for renewables and the AMT fix, the majority of the additions are unrelated to the financial crisis and add billions to the national debt. 

"I know there are influential voices supporting this bill.  But I think the people of New Mexico have this one exactly right.  The overwhelming majority of calls to my office have been encouraging me to oppose this bill. 

"I voted against the bill because I think we can craft a better solution that does not put the economic stability of future generations in jeopardy.  We need to protect middle class taxpayers, reform the system so we're not faced with the same problems down the road and hold accountable those who caused the problem.  We need the right solution that finds market alternatives instead of making government larger.

"This vote on the financial bailout tests who we are as people.  It was not a political vote, but a principled one. I respect all the votes today as honest and honorable. 

"My continued belief is that the economy works best when we lower taxes and let individuals be responsible for their own choice and their own lives."


 Albuquerque Journal, A3, Oct. 3, 2008

Changes To Rescue Bill Are Not Enough, Pearce Says

By Michael Coleman
Journal Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON — Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., said late Thursday that Senate changes to a $700 billion financial rescue bill are not enough to make him vote for it and, unless more substantial changes are made, he will vote against the bill in the House today.
    “Unless I can find a reason that is not currently included in the present version of the bill, I will vote to protect average Americans by opposing this outrageous big government intrusion into the market system,” Pearce said in a statement.
    A spokesman for Rep. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat who is running against Pearce for the U.S. Senate, said the congressman has not yet decided how he will vote today.
    The Senate passed the bill by a 74-25 margin on Wednesday, with New Mexico Sens. Pete Domenici, a Republican, and Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat, both voting for the Senate rescue plan.
    Udall and Pearce both voted against a similar House
bill earlier in the week.
    Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., voted for the House measure and is likely to vote for the Senate bill in the House today.
    Pearce, in his statement, called the Senate bill “an enormous bailout to Wall Street billionaires and corporations and mortgage companies who gave out bad loans to people who didn’t need them or couldn’t afford them.
    “While some additions to the Senate bill are praiseworthy, the majority are unrelated to the financial crisis and add billions in wasteful pork projects and payoffs to special interests,” Pearce said.
    He urged the House to pass a different bill that helps stabilize Wall Street.
    “The House should pass a clean bill,” Pearce said. “We need to head back to the drawing board and craft legislation that does right by the American people. A solution has to happen, but it must be the right solution — an appropriate response that keeps the middle class taxpayer from paying for the mistakes of the rich.”