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U.S. House of Representatives Official Seal

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Washington, Sep 29 -

Saying he was responding to the vast majority of his constituents who opposed the financial-sector recovery bill, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) voted no this afternoon against the bill, which went down to defeat.  “This was a bad deal from the beginning,” Rep. Coble stated, “and while improvements were made over a weekend of negotiating, the people of the Sixth District let me know in no uncertain terms that they were in no mood to bail out those who made some horrible financial decisions.  Now that this bill has been defeated, we have to go back to the drawing board to see where Congress can assist in the recovery of the financial, credit and housing markets.  I was never completely convinced that this rush-to-judgment was the right approach.”

          Congressman Coble said the bill had too many unanswered questions to convince him to support the measure.  “There is no accurate estimate of the total amount of troubled assets,” Rep. Coble added, “and as a result, there is no guarantee that $700 billion will even secure our financial markets.  Furthermore, the government purchasing toxic assets with taxpayer dollars makes no sense.” 

          Rep. Coble said that taxpayers should not be forced to bail out Wall Street executives and other individuals who have enjoyed lucrative benefits by exploiting our financial services industry.  “Particularly those who have contributed to the sub-prime mortgage crisis,” Rep. Coble said.  “To make matters worse, this bill did not prevent golden parachutes; it only prevented future golden parachutes.  These executives must be held accountable and regardless of when their crisis occurred or the amount of government assistance, they should be prohibited from receiving any financial rewards.  The appropriate role of the government is to protect the taxpayers and their investments, not subsidizing a market or sector of our economy.  Unfortunately, this bill did nothing to prohibit the activities that have led so many financial institutions into this current fiscal crisis.”

            Rep. Coble did laud his Republican leadership for making a bad bill better, but still not one he could ultimately support.   “Thanks to GOP negotiators, oversight boards were created,” Rep. Coble stated, “reporting requirements for Office of Management and Budget and Congressional Budget Office were added, a required plan to recoup losses was added, funding authorization was divided into three phases and added an opportunity for Congress to rescind up to $350 billion and a requirement to establish an insurance program was added.  Perhaps these improvements could be the starting point for a new round of negotiations.”

          Rep. Coble added that important items were removed such as housing slush funds that bankrolled organizations such as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).  Coble said the emails, phone calls and faxes received in his office were about 90% in opposition to the bailout bill prior to the vote.  


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