Welch votes ‘no’ to Wall Street bail out bill

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When Congress voted on the $700 billion Wall Street bail out today, Peter Welch was among the narrow majority of House members to defeat the bill.

Welch says he wasn’t persuaded that the package would provide a long term solution to the country’s economic problems.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel)Welch says the more he looked at this bail out package over the weekend, the more he found things that he didn’t like.

The measure failed to pass the House when a coalition of mostly conservative Republicans joined together with a group of liberal Democrats to oppose the plan.

Democratic and Republican leaders urged their caucuses to support the bill arguing that a failure to pass the legislation could send the country’s financial markets into a tail spin.

Welch wasn’t convinced that this approach was the best way to deal with the underlying weakness of the U.S. economy:

(Welch)"We have a serious economic crisis there’s no question about it but the proposal which is to solve a problem that was caused by reckless borrowing and reckless spending is to borrow 700 billion dollar more and it’s hard to have confidence that that is the way to go."

Welch says one of the biggest flaws in the package was the failure to provide a specific way to finance it:

(Welch) "I’m actually quite appalled that there’s no way proposed to pay for this it’s putting it on the credit card along with the war along with tax cuts for the wealthy so it’s another credit card bill that goes on to the middle class. In my view we have fundamental problems that we’ve got to address and it’s going to take a return to the basics and that’s having an economic agenda that focuses on building and strengthening the middle class helping entrepreneurs rather than speculation."

Welch says he’d like to see Congress adopt a different approach to solve this crisis in the very near future:

(Welch) "I think there is going to be a need for vigorous federal action but putting 700 billion dollars into these toxic securities is not going to revive the credit markers it will provide in my view perhaps a short term bump on Wall Street but it doesn’t get to the underlying core rot that’s in the foundation of the economy and we’ve got to start addressing directly."

Just when a new vote could take place is uncertain because Congress was set to adjourn until after the November elections.

Welch says he hopes Party leaders will keep Congress in session until a new plan can be approved.

For VPR News I’m Bob Kinzel.


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