Dean Heller’s Statement on the Financial Bailout Plan
“Today U.S. Congressman Dean Heller (R-NV) made the following statement on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 3997)”
“I cannot with good conscience put Nevada’s taxpayers on the hook for the foolish excesses of Wall Street. This legislation will not help Nevada’s middle class families, small businesses, or economy. Congress should pass legislation that protects the taxpayer, assists with bad assets, and allows the market to correct itself,” said Heller.”
Well Mr. Heller, as a member of the Financial Services Committee, which oversees our country’s investment companies, banks, savings and loans, credit unions, insurance industry, and housing services, and the same committe that negotiated H.R. 3997, we'd like to know just exactly what your ‘good conscience’ would allow you to vote for. Given that you haven't proposed any actions that would have prevented this current crisis from evolving into the ugly beast it's become, what is it that you think should be done to resolve it?
I'm sitting here watching the value of my previous home (which I've been unable to sell) plummet in a housing market that continues it's downward spiral. It's been on the market for 2-1/2 years without a single offer and all we can do is continue dropping the price hoping to eventually find a buyer. If that isn't financially straining enough, I'm also sitting here watching the value of my 401k plummet at the same time, a lifetime of disciplined saving going up in smoke or down the drain (whichever cliche just happens to float your boat). Clearly, something is drastically wrong with this nation's housing and monetary markets. I'm not sure who's right and who's wrong about how to fix this mess, but as a member of the key committe that should be managing these markets, I expect better leadership. Partisan political games need to end and serious work needs to take place.
I'm not a fan of increasing the already outrageously high National Debt, nor am I a fan of the "Paulson Plan" as it was originally presented to Congress, but a significant number of safeguards were negotiated. Executive bonuses were curtailed, golden parachutes where forbidden for participating firms and oversight was added. As I understand the provisions of H.R. 3997, morgages and other purchased assets would be owned by the taxpayers (and managed by the Treasury). The Treasury would hold those assets either to maturity (all the while depositing any mortgage payments paid against those instruments) or until re-sold on the open market. As an example, let's say the Treasury buys an asset at 20 cents on the dollar. They hold it for a while, and if/when market conditions improve, they sell it for 50 cents on the dollar. That profit would then be used to retire a portion of the National Debt, and in my book retiring the National Debt is a very good thing.
You say you listened to your conscience and it wouldn't let you vote for H.R. 3997. So what, Mr. Heller, was it that kept you from voting for a bill 'your' Congressional Committee negotiated and your Political Party endorsed? If you support a plan that would allow Wall Street to bail itself out, where's that plan? Why haven't you or others who are against the current plan proposed such a plan? Is it your 'conscience, or are you merely pandering to public skepticism in an attempt to draw more voters to the polls to vote for you in 35 days? What have you done and what are you actively pursuing that would remediate this crisis? If you want to keep your job, you need to show me a lot more leadership than I've seen you exhibit over your 2-year term.
Jill Derby’s Statement on Congressional Bailout VoteMaybe it’s time, Mr. Heller, that you step aside and let someone take that Congressional seat who’s willing to exhibit some leadership, who'll get actively involved and who'll work to actually find solutions. It's time for a change and I, for one, believe that to facilitate change, we need to change who we're sending to Washington. So Mr. Heller, on election day, I'll be voting with change in mind and will be voting for your replacement.
“Today, Congress failed to find a solution to the most critical economic threat of our time. As the American people counted on lawmakers of both parties to help bring an end to the threat of continued economic distress, Washington instead fell into the kind of finger-pointing and passing-of-the-buck that has become all too common.
Dean Heller–a member of the Financial Services Committee–failed completely to show the kind of leadership that Nevadans demand from their representatives. At the end of the day, struggling Nevadan families will not remember whether our representatives voted “Yea” or “Nea”, but only whether we arrived at Solution or Failure. As Nevada continues to suffer bank closures, rising prices, and the highest home foreclosure rate in the nation, Dean Heller has resigned himself to the culture of failure.
It is time for Congress to stop playing politics and find a solution to this crisis, one that puts Main Street before Wall Street.”