Leading Banking Panel Senators Reject Bailout Plan
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
WASHINGTON — Leading senators of both parties are expressing strong reservations about the administration’s financial bailout plan despite pleas from the treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chairman for quick passage.
Sen. Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said on Tuesday, “What they have sent us is not acceptable.”
Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, said, “We have got to look at some alternatives.”
“Nobody is happy” about the bailout request, said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., although he spoke of possible passage of legislation by the weekend.
Added Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., “I am emphatically against it.”
Even before Paulson could speak, lawmakers expressed unhappiness, criticism of the plan and — in the case of some conservative Republicans — outright opposition.
Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the panel’s senior Republican, was even more blunt. “I have long opposed government bailouts for individuals and corporate America alike,” he said. Seated a few feet away from Paulson and Bernanke, he added, “We have been given no credible assurances that this plan will work. We could very well spend $700 billion, or a trillion, and not resolve the crisis.”
Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., added, “This massive bailout is not a solution. It is financial socialism and it’s un-American.”
Polls reflect that 66% of America opposes the bailout.