We don’t have to have this trillion-dollar bailout shoved down our throats.
You can make a difference.
Phones are ringing off the hook. Peter Viles at L.A.Land:
A key quote in this morning’s Senate hearing about the Paulson bailout is worth repeating. This comes from Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat:
“Like my colleagues, my phones have been ringing off the hook. The sentiment from Ohioans about this proposal is universally negative.”
Not “overwhelmingly negative.” Not “deeply suspicious.” Not “extremely upset.” Universally negative.
I’ll state the obvious: Members of Congress aren’t generally in the habit of passing historic and spectacularly unpopular legislation five weeks before election day.
Make your voice heard now. Every second counts: 202-224-3121.
Quotable: “‘Just because God created the world in seven days doesn’t mean we have to pass this bill in seven days,’ said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.”
Or at all.
You might want to make a special effort to phone John McCain’s office. He’s waffling and wavering and straddling. Mr. Maverick needs a clue.
Update: Student loans, car loans, and credit card debt have been snuck into the bailout proposal No. No No. Hellllllll, no.
In the dark of night over the weekend when most people were snoozing, the Treasury dramatically expanded its bailout plan to include buying student loans, car loans, credit card debt and any other “troubled” assets held by banks.
The changes, which were included in draft language that also opened the bailout program to foreign banks with extensive loan operations in the United States, potentially added tens of billions of dollars to the cost of the program.
Although it was a major addition to what was already the nation’s largest-ever bailout, it did not become part of the debate between Democrats and the Treasury over details of the program. A Monday counterproposal by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd included such consumer loans as well as mortgages, just as the Treasury’s draft did Saturday night.
“The costs of the bailout will be significantly higher than originally considered or acknowledged,” said Joshua Rosner, managing director of Graham Fisher & Co., who charged that the Treasury and Federal Reserve have not been “forthright” about the ultimate cost to the public. The plan gives Treasury the discretion to buy the non-mortgage loans and securities in consultation with the Fed.
Conservatives cited the move as a sign that the massive plan to take over bad mortgage debt already is opening the door to further government bailouts.
Get your GOP senator off the fence:
Many members of the U.S. Senate blasted the Bush administration’s Wall Street bailout plan Tuesday, but no senator has come forward so far with an explicit pledge to kill the $700 billion proposal.
The rules of the Senate, unlike the House , give individual lawmakers substantial power to delay or halt legislation, but three Senate aides said there were no clear signs yet of that power being exercised.
As the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the plan put forward by the Treasury Department, aides said much would depend on Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the committee’s top Republican, who was sharply critical at the hearing.
The outlook for Treasury’s plan would dim greatly if Shelby were to move to block the bill that is expected to emerge soon from congressional debate over the plan, the aides said.
The Democrat-controlled Congress and the Republican Bush administration are in negotiations over specifics of the bailout bill, with the House aiming to get legislation to a floor vote possibly Friday…
…Other senators, including Republicans Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, have expressed strong concerns.
But the aides said these lawmakers also have stopped short of warning they would work to block the bill.