October 01, 2008

Crapo: Financial Rescue Package Doesn't Adequately Protect Taxpayers

Votes against legislation regarding credit and financial markets

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted against the legislative package to provide $700 billion in assistance in the credit crisis now confronting the country. The measure, H.R. 1424 The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, cleared the U.S. Senate on a vote of 74 to 25, and will now be referred back to the U.S. House of Representatives for reconsideration.

"I voted no because I am not convinced that the Administration's proposal in its current form is the right solution, that taxpayers were protected," Crapo explained following the vote this evening. "This is not to diminish the serious and real threat that faces our financial markets and economy. To be certain, there is a substantial threat that must be dealt with, but this proposal requires the taxpayer to assume the majority of the risk. The taxpayers must be protected if this solution doesn't work out, and should be the last to take a financial loss. However, after much review and evaluation, I concluded that this proposal fails the fairness test and left the taxpayers with too much risk. The credit crunch has extremely serious repercussions throughout every aspect of our economy, and we simply must get this right. We have not spent any time determining if Congress has chosen the best response; there are many well-informed people who argue that we have not.

"This is a very complicated issue, one that requires careful evaluation of all the alternatives available, but Congress only addressed one way to face the crisis. While questions from the public certainly forced needed improvements regarding executive compensation, oversight, accountability and transparency, this measure needed more work, more evaluation and more debate. It does not resolve the over-reaching problem of how we reached this point. The next Congress is going to have to do more to address this crisis and make significant reforms to our capital markets.

"Thousands of Idahoans have contacted my offices, expressing their concerns over this situation. I also carefully considered concerns expressed by Idaho employers, many who are now starting to experience credit tightening and financial difficulties as the repercussions from this crisis trickle down to our hometowns. To be sure, this was a challenging vote, and I appreciate all of the input that I have received from the many, many people who have taken the effort to let me know how they felt about this legislation.

"Regardless of the ultimate outcome regarding this legislation, many uncertainties will continue. We must remain vigilant and be prepared to adjust course in the next session of Congress if we find the economy has not sufficiently improved."

Crapo serves on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which maintains oversight and jurisdiction over the financial markets.