Senate Democrats

Reid Statement On Proposal To Stabilize Economy, Protect Middle Class

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008:

“Eight years of greed on Wall Street and a disdain for oversight and accountability in the White House have brought on the deepest financial crisis in generations.   Every American has a right to be angry about the situation we face, but every American also has an interest in fixing this crisis.

“Our first responsibility must be to keep a bad situation from getting worse.  Inaction would paralyze our economy, making it hard for banks to lend money and denying many businesses the money they need to make payroll.  Companies would fail and jobs would be lost.  Americans wouldn’t be able to take out loans for home or school and retirement savings would be wiped out.

“Democrats have improved upon the Administration’s initial proposal, which used taxpayer dollars to subsidize CEOs’ golden parachutes, had no oversight, and simply handed one man $700 billion and gave him unfettered power to use it as he saw fit.  Our priorities were to put taxpayers first, ensure oversight and accountability, and help prevent foreclosures.

“This agreement, while not perfect, accomplishes our goals: It will help stabilize our economy and protect Main Street from the crisis on Wall Street.”

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In improving President Bush’s plan, we: 

  • Put taxpayers first
    • Reward taxpayers with profits the program will produce while protecting them from losses;
    • Prohibits using taxpayer money to subsidize failed CEOs who abused the public trust; and
    • Requires Congressional review of any funding above $350 billion.
  • Ensure oversight and accountability to taxpayers
    • Independent oversight to review how taxpayer money is used; and
    • Regular reports to the American taxpayers on the status of the program.
  • Help prevent foreclosures
    • Allows the government to renegotiate mortgage terms, which would help reduce the two million projected foreclosures in the next year and keep families in their homes.    
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