Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement following the Senate’s passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
“The Senate tonight took an important step toward stabilizing our financial markets and economy. The legislation that we have passed, while not perfect, will help to put the brakes on our downward economic spiral – and will give worried Rhode Island families a measure of assurance that they have not been forgotten in this crisis. I hope the House will quickly follow suit and pass this badly-needed measure this week.
“Delay is not an option. While this crisis originated on Wall Street, it has already begun to reverberate on Main Street, in the form of stock market declines, which affect average Americans’ 401(k)s and other investments, and the constricting credit market, which prevents Americans from buying cars and homes and financing their children’s college educations. If we do not address this situation now, the consequences for our working families could be dire indeed.
“This bill includes numerous improvements over the Bush Administration’s initial, blank check proposal. Under the leadership of Senators Dodd, Reed, and others, Congress added rigorous oversight, steps to reign in executive compensation including ‘golden parachutes,’ and help for families that face foreclosure, including modified loan terms on the mortgages bought by the Treasury.
“I am especially proud of a provision authored by my senior senator, Jack Reed, that will protect the taxpayers by granting the government warrants and other securities in the financial institutions we assist, to help ensure that taxpayers don’t lose their shirts on this plan.
“Our efforts to help struggling families cannot end here. We must also take action to reform the credit card industry, whose unfair, predatory practices could precipitate another financial collapse. I’ve introduced legislation that will use the power of market incentives to encourage lenders to keep interest rates low, and I will advocate forcefully for this reform and others in the next Congress.”