September 23, 2008

Crapo: Financial Crisis Requires Prompt, But Careful Action

Says bottom line must protect taxpayers

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo expressed his concerns about the Administration's $700 billion proposal to ease the credit crisis in the financial industry at a hearing on Capitol Hill today. Crapo and other members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee questioned Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Securities & Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox at length over the proposal. Crapo focused his remarks and questions on how critical it is that taxpayers be protected as Congress crafts a response to the economic crisis we face.

"This is the most critical threat to our country's economic security that we have faced since I began serving in the Congress in 1993," Crapo said. "It requires urgent action, but we must take the time to get it right and to ensure that the American taxpayer is protected.

"As the Senate Banking Committee and Congress move ahead with this proposal, we must make protection of the taxpayer our highest priority," Crapo added. "I have grave concerns about whether this proposal we are discussing today adequately provides that protection, and it is incumbent that Congress make a careful, consistent and deliberate evaluation of the proposal and its effects. The losses should not be taken by the taxpayers, but by those who have ownership interests in the financial firms involved. Congress must address the issue in a way that ensures the taxpayer is protected and that the markets are strengthened and reassured."

Crapo plans to continue diligent and careful consideration of the Administration's proposal, which is still under development. The Senate will continue to debate the financial package throughout the week.