Monday, October 06, 2008

Response from Senator Murray

I'm happy to get a response to my complaint about her yea vote on the bailout. My thesis was basically 'haste makes waste'. I may have used the word 'dupe' but not in the sense of duplicate.

My shenanigans radar is still detecting a large slow-moving mass somewhere in the area between New York and DC (aside from the persistent vortex of malfeasance that is located there.)

PS. I am not a crank.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 12:42 PM
Subject: Response from Senator Murray

Dear Mr. Beatty:

Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. I appreciate hearing from you about this important issue. The U.S. Senate voted to pass this bill by a margin of 74-25 on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. On Friday, October 3, 2008, the bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law by President Bush.

As you know, in communities across America today, people are finding it increasingly difficult to fill up their tanks, pay for health care, and afford college tuition. Now, all Americans, even those who have paid their bills on time and have excellent credit, are at risk of being severely affected by the current credit freeze on Wall Street.

People want to know if this crisis is real. I have asked the same question of Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke. I have spoken with economic experts and Washington state business leaders. Companies like Weyerhaeuser and Microsoft have made it clear that something must be done. Power utilities such as Avista and the farm groups such as the Farm Bureau have told me that the government's proposal to stabilize our financial markets is critically needed. Throughout various sectors of our economy, there is deep and genuine concern about market collapse and the potential impact on jobs, credit and pensions.

We have already experienced a slowdown in home sales and construction. Our home state bank, Washington Mutual, was unable to withstand the crisis and was acquired by another institution. Millions of Americans have tried to obtain a loan or refinance their mortgage, but have found it increasingly difficult to find a willing line of credit and in many cases have been unable to do so at all. If this crisis worsens, credit could freeze completely for consumers and companies who use credit to pay their employees or run their business operations. The bottom line is that without a steady stream of credit, American businesses will not be able to pay their workers and Americans will lose their jobs. Because of the impact the financial crisis could have on all Americans, from layoffs to access to credit, I supported the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

I understand the frustration of people who want those on Wall Street to be held accountable for their actions and shoulder the consequences of their own misdeeds. Americans are being confronted with two undesirable options. Either do nothing and let the crisis worsen, or take action and use taxpayer dollars to solve a problem they did not create. Americans are rightfully angry. However, those who created the problem will not be those who are hurt most if the government does not act. My top priority is to do what is best for the people of Washington State and the nation, and that is why I believe government action is urgently needed in this situation.

The original plan presented to Congress by President Bush and Secretary Paulson was a non-starter. Congress rightly refused to give Secretary Paulson a blank check to spend hundreds of billions of dollars without oversight. Congress refused to allow executives of failing companies to walk away with millions of dollars in severance packages while taxpayers paid for their mistakes. This legislation is a more prudent agreement to anchor taxpayer dollars to strict Congressional oversight and scrutiny by independent economic experts. We added assistance for responsible borrowers hit by the foreclosure crisis and plans to recoup money from any institutions which use government money and then see a profit. In the future, it is possible that most, if not all, of the taxpayer money invested will be returned once this crisis comes to a close.

Congress has to be vigilant in our oversight of how this law is implemented. I fought to ensure that every transaction that takes place regarding this funding will be on the Internet for all Americans to see. In addition, I strongly support the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) and other state and federal agencies' investigation into the wrongdoing related to the current crisis on Wall Street. If fraud and criminal activity are uncovered, the individuals responsible must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Congress must take a hard look at the factors that brought us to this point and seriously address them. Congress will be holding ongoing hearings into the causes of this crisis and the regulation reform that is desperately needed and has been missing throughout the duration of the Bush Administration. The next administration has to work with Congress to pass and implement new regulatory measures so that taxpayers are never put in this position again.

It will take both investment and honesty to get our economy back on track. The next administration will inherit this economic crisis along with many other serious challenges. I hope our new President is honest with the American people about where we stand and what it will take to move America forward.

I believe that to move America forward, we need to invest in the infrastructure and education that create economic growth and jobs. We have to invest in our workforce and find a way to make health care affordable and accessible. We have to increase funding for research and development and reward innovation. We have to implement a smart, forward-looking energy policy that ends our addiction to foreign oil. It is time to put America's families first and restore their faith that government works for, not against them.

I grew up with a country at my back - one that when my own father got sick and could no longer work was there with Pell Grants and student loans and even food stamps when my family needed them. I will always remember that. I supported this legislation because the American dream of owning a home or going to college is simply too important to take a back seat to politics or to be put at risk by the misdeeds of Wall Street.

As Congress continues to work to restore our economy, I will continue to stand up for our state and listen to your concerns. Thank you for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

I hope all is well in Seattle.

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