posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 10:35 PM
I received a letter from my congressman, Todd Akin - 2nd District MO today, too. He also voted "No" both times.
Dear Mrs. XXXXX
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. It was good to hear from you and I appreciate the opportunity
As you may know, the first bailout bill, H.R. 3997, failed on a vote of 228 to 205 on September 29, 2008. On October 3rd, the House passed H.R. 1424 -
a second and even more expensive bill - on a vote of 263 to 171 and the President signed it into law. I voted against both of these measures because I
did not believe they were the correct response to the crisis we were facing.
Treasury Secretary Paulson, some economists, the White House and leaders in both parties claimed that we would face an "economic Armageddon" if the
bailout did not pass. We were told that our only option was this bailout package.
I joined a bi-partisan majority of my colleagues in opposing this legislation because of concerns that it would obligate taxpayers to up to $700
billion in new debt without any certainty that the markets would be stabilized. Less than a week later, the Dow was still down more than 700 points
and some economists were already saying that the bailout was not large enough and more taxpayer dollars would be necessary.
I believe we have better choices. For that reason, I co-sponsored H.R. 7223, which represents a responsible and reasoned response to our economic
challenges. H.R. 7223 would have reformed the financial market regulatory system and empowered private investors to fund the financial market's
recovery. I believe this plan represented a 'work-out' rather than a bailout - leveraging limited tax dollars to encourage private investment and
stabilize our markets.
Going forward, I believe our discussion should include a re-evaluation of current federal mandates on banks - including those which may have
encouraged risky loans. I believe recent changes in mark-to-market accounting rules were necessary and helpful. We should re-examine Federal Reserve
policies and rules that allow corporate banks to shield their investments from public scrutiny. We must also look at what new regulations are
necessary to ensure accountability and transparency in the financial markets.
Over the past few months, we were presented with multiple "necessary bailouts." Congress bailed out Freddie and Fannie, we intervened in Bear
Stearns, then in AIG, and then, last week, we approved $25 billion for the auto industry.
I share my colleagues concern about the potential impact of Wall Street failures on our entire economy. I believe federal action can help re-establish
confidence in our markets without exposing taxpayers to unnecessary risk. But this bill was the wrong answer for America. I could not support spending
nearly a trillion dollars without a committee hearing or without making sure that the response was commensurate with the problem. In short, doing
something quickly was no substitute for doing what was right.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact my office. It is a privilege to represent you and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me
regarding any matter where I might be of assistance. If you would like more information on issues, or would like to share further thoughts with me via
e-mail, you may visit my website.
W. Todd Akin
Member of Congress
My senators both voted "Yes" and I will be surprised if they will respond to my emails.