Round two: Iowa delegation vote on bailout bill

The U.S. House has passed the proposed Wall Street bailout, the version which passed the Senate earlier this week.  Iowa’s congressional delegation voted as follows:

  • First District Congressman Bruce Braley:  yes (voted no last week)
  • Second District Congressman Dave Loebsack:  yes (voted yes last week)
  • Third District Congressman Leonard Boswell: yes (voted yes last week)
  • Fourth District Congressman Tom Latham:  no (voted no last week)
  • Fifth District Congressman Steve King:  no (voted no last week)

Earlier this morning Braley issued a statement to explain his vote change. (after the jump)

Braley to Support Financial Rescue Bill, Providing Multi-Billion Dollar Investment in Iowa Families, Businesses and Communities

Improved Rescue Package Includes Billions for Economic Recovery on Iowa Main Streets

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) released the following statement today announcing his support for the improved financial rescue package, which the House is expected to consider today. 

“Today, we’re facing an economic crisis as serious as any that our nation has faced in my lifetime.  While the crisis started on Wall Street, it now affects Iowans from all walks of life.  From homeowners to small business owners, college students to retirees, all Iowans are feeling the effects of this crisis.

“I have long advocated taking a balanced approach to the financial crisis that helps Iowa’s Main Streets as much as it helps Wall Street.  Significant improvements have been made this week that will help Iowa families, businesses, and communities by providing billions of dollars in economic relief directly to the Iowans who need it. While the updated version of this legislation is far from perfect, it will provide needed help for Iowa’s working families. 

“This improved recovery plan is a vast improvement over the Bush Administration’s original $700 billion, no-strings-attached plan.  The addition of increased FDIC limits will provide security for Iowa’s seniors and small businesses. This improved plan will provide help to Main Street financial institutions, not just Wall Street.   

“The recovery package gives the Treasury Secretary less than one-half the amount he originally requested to stabilize the credit markets.  If and when the President seeks additional authority for any amount over his authorized limit, I will not vote to grant that authority unless I am absolutely convinced that it is necessary to save our economy from disaster and will not be a risky investment for U.S. taxpayers.  I will continue to work to strengthen and improve the restrictions on executive compensation and recovery of taxpayer investments in stabilizing the markets, as well as legislation to reduce home foreclosures.

“While I would have liked more improvements, I am happy that the improved legislation includes billions of dollars that will go directly to Iowa, including $4.6 billion in tax relief for Iowans recovering from this year’s unprecedented floods and tornadoes.   As Iowans across the state continue their work to rebuild, this provides additional resources and support. 

“Middle class families receive substantial tax relief from this improved bill.   Over 40,000 families in my district would avoid paying higher taxes due to the Alternative Minimum Tax, providing millions of dollars in tax relief for working Iowa families.  Tax credits for working families, from tuition tax credits to energy conservation credits, will provide working families with real relief.

“This bill also provides a direct investment in Iowa’s economy by promoting renewable fuels production, from E-85 to wind energy.  These tax credits will create new jobs here in Iowa and provide a long-term investment in Iowa’s economy. 

“This has been a long and difficult week, full of great apprehension and uncertainty.  The wait has been worth it.  I’m convinced that Iowa and Iowans will be much better off under this new economic recovery package, and that’s why I’m voting “yes” today.”

While the voting was underway, King’s staff issued this statement:


WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Congressman Steve King, as Chairman of the Conservative Opportunity Society, introduced the RESCUE Act 2008(Reliable Economic Stabilization Capital Utilization and Enterprise Reform Act of 2008) as a free market alternative to the taxpayer funded bailout. 

“We face a serious economic crisis—with families and businesses feeling the credit crunch and uncertainty.  Paulson’s government bailout doesn’t solve the problem.  So, I put my plan on the table.  My RESCUE Act is a free market alternative to the big spending bailout.  Doing “something” is not enough; we must do the right thing.  My bill attracts private investments to stabilize our economy and helps innocent companies weather the storm,” said King.

The Rescue Act of 2008 has the following provisions to address the economic crisis. 

  • Uses private money, not taxpayer money, to stabilize the economy by suspending capital gains taxes on “rescue” capital investments
  • Injects hundreds of billions of new capital into the US economy by providing tax incentives for US companies to invest their foreign capital in our U.S. economy.
  • Takes taxpayers off the hook for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by reforming them–then ensuring that taxpayers aren’t left holding the bill if they go under in the future.
  • Repeals the Community Reinvestment Act, a costly and burdensome government mandate on banks.
  • Gives banks the opportunity to treat their losses on preferred stock in Fannie and Freddie as ordinary income, not as a capital loss so that they are not overtaxed.
  • Starts a Net Worth Certificate program so that good banks are not pulled down by irresponsible lenders
  • Gives companies the flexibility to carry back their losses over five years so they have a tax cushion to weather these tough times. 

UPDATE:  Boswell’s staff issued the following statement at 12:39 p.m.


Boswell Supports Package

Bill Passes House 263-171

“Today, the House of Representatives did the right thing and voted for the good of the country.  After the vote on Monday, we witnessed that what happens on Wall Street affects Main Street.  People saw tremendous loss in their 401k plans, and businesses are finding it tougher to borrow money.  While no bill is ever perfect, it was extremely important that Congress took quick action to avoid further losses.”   

“As I said on Monday, the original Bush-Paulson bailout was totally unacceptable.  The plan we voted on today protects taxpayers, stops golden parachutes, limits CEO compensation, ensures greater transparency, and increases the maximum amount of FDIC deposit insurance coverage from $100,000 to $250,000 per account.  The bill also includes important renewable energy incentives and tax extenders which will save thousands of jobs.”

“The final bill includes a recoupment provision which insures taxpayers against potential losses.  It is imperative that the cost of this package be recovered without adding billions of dollars to our debt.”

UPDATE:  At 1:07 p.m. Loebsack’s staff issues teh following:


Rep. Loebsack Calls for Commitment to Further Action to Expand Reforms, Increase Oversight, and Enact Greater Protections for Taxpayers

Washington, DC – Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) released the following statement after Congress passed an economic stabilization plan that stems the economic crisis in our country, cracks down on CEO pay and golden parachutes, provides tax relief for middle class families, creates new jobs on Main Street, and includes the Grassley-Loebsack Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief Act to provide $4.6 billion in tax credits for Iowans and other Midwesterners affected by the floods this past June.

“Today, the House passed a necessary bill because we were elected to lead.  I was elected to act in the best interest of the people I serve in Iowa.  Our economy is in crisis, and if left unaddressed it will hit hardworking middle class families and small businesses the hardest.  On Monday, after the previous effort to stabilize our economy failed, U.S. financial markets lost an estimated $1.2 trillion in a matter of hours, and today we are seeing reports that our nation lost 159,000 jobs in September, the largest loss in five years.  This hurts our entire country – it hurts workers who are saving for retirement, students who want to take out loans to attend college, and small business owners who sometimes need to borrow money from the bank to meet payroll demands. 

“The plan I voted for today was far from perfect, and I share my constituents’ anger over the situation our country is facing.  However, this responsible action is necessary to prevent a greater economic crisis, provide relief to hardworking families, and encourage growth in our local economies, while punishing Wall Street CEOs for their failures.

“This package builds on the previous compromise. I voted yes because if we let perfection be the enemy of this compromise the result will be inaction, and that simply is not acceptable for the families and small businesses struggling during these uncertain economic times.  However, this stabilization plan is only the first step in what will be a movement toward increased oversight and examination of our financial system, a deliberative approach to reforming our regulatory system, and a strong focus on creating jobs here at home and re-building a stronger more productive economy.

“Furthermore, and most important for the communities, residents, and businesses struggling in the wake of the floods this summer, this package includes the Grassley-Loebsack Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief Act.  These provisions provide $4.6 billion in tax assistance for the Midwestern disaster affected states, of which Iowa will receive a significant portion.  Enactment of this package will provide Iowa with every tool available to help homeowners recover, small businesses to reopen, infrastructure to be rebuilt, and to encourage investment in flood affected communities.

“At every step of the way during these bipartisan negotiations, significant improvements were made to this package from what President Bush and Secretary Paulson first asked of this country and every taxpayer, but still more must be done.  ”

UPDATE:  at 2:37 p.m., Latham’s staff issued the following:

Latham statement on today’s Emergency Economic Stabilization Act vote in the
U.S. House of Representatives

Iowa Congressman Tom Latham has released the following statement regarding his vote on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008:

"We have all heard from thousands of our constituents on this measure over the past two weeks. I spoke to one constituent of mine from Iowa yesterday who contacts me regularly to express her opinions and ideas. When discussing her opposition to this bill she summed up the frustrations of Iowans and the overwhelming majority of people across this country. She said “the people out here in the heartland see this bill and bailout as a result of Washington talking to Washington—and not talking and listening to the real people beyond the beltway.”

"She hit the nail on the head. This measure today is a true result of Washington talking to Washington, of Congressional partisanship blinding the legislative process and blocking the chance for real common sense comprehensive solutions, and members of an Administration that are quicker to respond to the needs and pain of Wall Street than the needs and reality on Main Street.

"The measure we voted on Monday was based almost exactly on the original plan of one man—that of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. This plan was sold to us with no guarantee of success—even from its author. This plan was created and based on a randomly selected price tag of $700 billion to the American taxpayers. When asked about why that number was chosen, a spokesperson for the Treasury Department responded in a news article last week that they came up with it because they wanted "a really large number."

"Additionally, the question has to be asked of this plan—is it morally right to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to reward and benefit those on Wall Street who were knowingly involved in risky and, sometimes, exotic financial investments that were hidden from the eyes of federal regulators?

"Why is Washington so quick to focus on the needs of Wall Street at the cost of those responsible Iowans who have sacrificed, saved, and spent within their means?

"No wonder real America has lost faith in Washington.

"I voted against almost this same measure on Monday afternoon. It was a tough vote but it was the right vote. I took that vote so we could sit down as Americans who are truly interested in the well-being of all people in this nation to find a more acceptable path—a well thought out common-sense path. After all, we do agree that something must be done to try and save this nation and her people for what would be a devastating period of economic disaster.

"My hopes, and the hopes of the majority in this country, were dashed after the U.S. Senate not only embraced the plan we voted down earlier in the House, but added an even larger price tag on American taxpayers. And, the Senate—as only could be done in Washington—added hundreds of millions of dollars in pork to the bill to fund children’s wooden arrows, race tracks and Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum. The Senate turned a deaf ear to the cries of the American people who are opposed to this measure and decided to add even more unwanted items to their tab.

"In the interest of full disclosure the Senate did add items that I fully support. Important provisions that could help Iowa’s renewables industry—in wind, solar and biofuels—that could help Iowans who are struggling to rebuild after the devastating floods of this summer, and other common sense measures that include increasing FDIC insurance limits.

"But the foundation of the Senate bill that we are considering today remains the same—the randomly selected $700 billion plan that was the creation of one man, that empowers that one man to spend the money as he sees fit—yet has no guarantees for success or even realistic protection provisions that will close the taxpayer’s check book if the plan is not working. I could never trust any one person with complete discretion of $700 billion of taxpayer’s money—no strings attached.

"As the members of this body know, I joined with a group of my colleagues yesterday to work to provide Washington with one last option other than the plan of based on a randomly selected number.

"We drafted an amendment that would give Secretary Paulson $250 billion to use as proposed in his original plan. Even he has said that he could only spend at the most $50 billion a month. This gives him at least five months to see if his plan is working, and if it is proving to have success for all of America’s economy, then he can return to Congress to request the remaining funds. While I know even $250 billion is unacceptable to many fiscal conservatives, the plan gave the American people some level of control over their tax dollars to know that a plan based on a randomly selected number would have to show success and benefits to main street before it was permitted to move forward beyond that additional smaller price tag.

"Our amendment also gave us time… time to come back here and discuss alternatives for the good of the nation as a whole.

"I believe that this amendment would have received overwhelming bi-partisan support from the rank-and-file members whose voices were shut out of this process.

"Unfortunately, what has become standard operating procedure for a broken Congress, in a broken Washington, the members of this body—representing the hundreds of millions of people in real America—were not even allowed the opportunity to vote on an alternate plan. Instead we are forced to consider—up or down, no committee hearings, no committee votes—this plan based on a randomly selected number.

"This week I have spoken with and listened to the reality of the economic landscape from small business employers throughout Iowa. I have heard from farmers, from colleges, from community governments, realtors, car dealerships, utility companies, and hometown bankers—employers of hundreds of thousands of Iowans. They all have told me of the reality of their experiences with credit markets, the reality of economic turbulence, and the real fears that if nothing is done soon that Iowa is facing economic disaster like most of us have not seen in our lifetime. These are real people from real town America, who are doing the right things, providing good jobs for good people, who are leaders in their community and staples of the local economies who are suffering and face economic disaster not because of decisions they have made, but because of the decisions made on Wall Street and in Washington.

"It is clear to all of us that action is needed to protect our economy. But is this plan really the right action we should take? After all, supporting this bill just for the sake that we agree that action is needed does not guarantee that we are moving in the right direction. And, for those who are suffering in real America, actions we take now that are not fully debated and discussed could end up causing more economic harm over the long term.

"The events of the past two weeks—and the resulting proposal that we are forced to consider today—make it painfully clear to me, and millions of Americans, that Washington is unwilling, or incapable, of listening to anyone but Washington.

"That is why I must stand on principle once again today and vote against this measure with the hope that Washington will wake up and—immediately following this vote—begin the responsible process of working together, working with the American people to find a solution that is well considered based on fundamental economic principles that addresses the real needs of real America… real main street. These are the principles on which our nation was founded and these are the principles that we have the duty as Americans to stand up and protect."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.