September 22, 2008: Statement on Economic Turmoil
September 22, 2008
Congress must not adjourn until it addresses this situation.
The House and Senate should commit to staying in session until we get this right for the American public. There should be no talk about going home to campaign until we straighten out this mess.
Due Diligence: we must protect the hard-earned assets of the American public.
My position is that Congress should make it a priority to protect the assets of the American people. We should not be stampeded into taking rash action six weeks before an election. We must insist on due diligence at every step of the process. Thus, we should not approve any bailout without insisting on reforms. This is especially important to those of us who opposed the various pieces of legislation that created this irresponsible, high-risk behavior in the financial markets.
Prudence: No reforms = no money for the bailout.
I do not believe that Congress should bail out large financial institutions on Wall Street, especially without adequate protection for the average person. We need to help Main Street, not just Wall Street.
Help families fight off foreclosure.
Also, the financial crisis was precipitated by an avalanche of foreclosures. Ohio and Michigan have been especially hard hit by the decline in real estate values. Accordingly, any financial recovery plan must take into account the situations of thousands of families who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.
Wrongdoers must be held responsible.
I do not believe that the people who helped bring about this situation should be allowed to profit from it. Therefore, I will insist on measures that hold responsible anyone whose actions helped bring us to this extraordinary moment where the American people are being called upon to save the financial system.