Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate regarding a package consisting of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Senate-passed tax extenders, and an increase in federal coverage of bank deposits to $250,000. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Yesterday Senator McConnell and I came to the floor to discuss the way forward on the financial rescue package. We agreed that now is not the time for politics or partisanship. The security and well-being of the American people are at risk, and we will work together to solve this crisis.
“Last night, Democrats and Republicans gave consent to move to a vote later today on a package of bills that will stabilize our economy, restore confidence among consumers and businesses, and create new jobs and economic growth.
“This package of bills will include the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, an increase in federal coverage of bank deposits to $250,000, Senate-passed tax extenders, and long-overdue legislation to provide parity in health care coverage for American who suffer from mental health illness.
“The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act is a vastly improved version of the economic rescue plan sent to Congress last week by President Bush and Secretary Paulson.
“Working together, Democrats and Republicans –
- Added significant oversight on how public funds are spent;
- Stopped “golden parachutes” for executives at taxpayer expense;
- Provided taxpayers with a greater likelihood of a return on the funds spent;
- And offered help for homeowners facing foreclosure.
“To this bedrock plan we added an increase in FDIC insurance for bank account deposits from $100,000 to $250,000, which will give consumers renewed confidence that the safety of their savings is iron-clad.
“And, we include tax extenders to lower taxes for middle class families, businesses and for private sector entrepreneurs developing and producing clean, renewable alternative energy sources.
“These tax cuts will create hundreds of thousands of jobs here in America, spark investment in the economy by small businesses, and help chart our course away from imported oil and toward the home-grown fuels of tomorrow.
“Every part of this bill enjoys bipartisan support, and every part is aimed directly at the heart of our financial crisis.
“No one is happy about taking this dramatic and expensive step. No one is glad we have reached this critical point.
“As Senator Obama said yesterday, there will be plenty of time to assign blame. Now is our time to work – not as Democrats and Republicans – but as guardians of the public trust – to forge a better day ahead.
“I am hopeful that tonight we will see a strong vote in support of this plan, and that the bipartisanship shown here in the Senate will spark the House of Representatives to do the same.”