Thank you for writing to share your ideas and concerns about the current state of the U.S. economy.
From Wall Street to Main Street, the U.S. economy is in trouble. We have suffered 760,000 lost jobs since the beginning of this year, over a million families have lost their homes to foreclosure with millions more at risk, and many banks and other financial institutions are struggling to stay afloat. The bailout of investment bank Bear Stearns, the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Federal Reserve’s emergency intervention to save AIG, and recent troubles at Washington Mutual and Wachovia demonstrate the seriousness of the situation we face.
In response to the crisis in our financial markets, Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424). This legislation, which became public law on October 3, 2008, authorizes the Treasury Secretary to invest $700 billion in the purchase of bad assets from financial institutions, improving market liquidity and attempting to keep credit flowing to small businesses and consumers.
The President’s original bailout proposal amounted to a blank check for billions of taxpayer dollars to the Treasury to bail out banks, with no oversight or accountability. I rejected that proposal and insisted upon provisions to preserve homeownership, protect taxpayers, limit windfall payments to executives, and provide rigorous oversight. The bill that passed included those provisions, and I believe it was a necessary step to getting our economy back on track. Please feel free to go to my Senate website, www.obama.senate.gov, to read or view a video of my full remarks from the Senate floor on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.
We urgently need a second emergency economic stimulus plan to avert an even more serious economic recession. I will continue to call on my colleagues and the Bush administration to provide fiscal relief for state and local governments that are struggling with falling revenues and tighter credit as well as emergency investments in infrastructure to save American jobs. We must do everything we can to prevent this crisis from turning into a major economic catastrophe.
Thank you for writing. Trust that I will continue to fight for real economic relief for families and communities across America.
United States Senator
Comment: May I present El Presidente...