Leahy, Sanders split on financial rescue plan

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(Host) The Wall Street bailout package that passed the Senate last night got a split vote from Vermont’s delegation.

Senator Patrick Leahy voted in favor of the $700 billion financial rescue plan. Senator Bernie Sanders voted against the bill. In a statement, Leahy says the bill has changed significantly since it was first proposed by President Bush. Leahy says the bill now provides greater checks and balances on government authority, oversight of actions by the Treasury Secretary, and an increase in the federal deposit insurance.

Leahy says after a long day of discussions with Senators Barack Obama and Chris Dodd, he came to agree that while the plan is far from perfect, the cost of doing nothing is far higher.

Senator Bernie Sanders says he voted against the bill because it puts the burden of Wall Street on the backs of the American middle class.

(Sanders) "Given the reality that we are in this financial crisis right now because of the greed and excesses of Wall Street, it seems very clear to me that the people who have benefited from Bush’s reckless policies, the people who have caused the problem, should by and large be the people who are putting their money at risk in order to move us forward.”

(Host) Sanders had proposed a five-year, 10 percent surtax on families with incomes over $1 million to pay for the bailout. That amendment was defeated by a voice vote.

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