Monday, September 29, 2008

Pelosi Speech

I don't know if the bailout package was good legislation or bad legislation. It seems like it was going to be a major improvement on what was originally suggested by the White House. If the Republicans said they voted against it because they didn't like the content, I might have had some respect for them. But they didn't. Allegedly, the problem was this speech because they felt it was too partisan. How old are all these people? Isn't that more how six-year-olds act? The video cuts off before the speech is over... and I've posted the text for those who can't watch video on their computers. Using this speech - not ethics, values, or a concern about the contents of the bill - as an excuse for not voting for it.... Pathetic and disingenuous. Or stupid. Or all three.

SPEAKER PELOSI: Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion?

It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush Administration's failed economic policies-policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.

Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created chaos.

That chaos is the dismal picture painted by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke a week and a half ago in the Capitol. As they pointed out, we confront a crisis of historic magnitude that has the ability to do serious injury not simply to our economy, but to the American people: not just to Wall Street, but to everyday Americans on Main Street.

It is our responsibility today, to help avert that catastrophic outcome.

Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United States.

It is a crisis that freezes credit, causes families to lose their homes, cripples small businesses, and makes it harder to find jobs.

It is a crisis that never had to happen. It is now the duty of every Member of this body to recognize that the failure to act responsibly, with full protections for the American taxpayer, would compound the damage already done to the financial security of millions of American families.

Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush Administration.

I must recognize the outstanding leadership provided by Chairman Barney Frank, whose enormous intellectual and strategic abilities have never before been so urgently needed, or so widely admired.

I also want to recognize Rahm Emanuel, who combined his deep knowledge of financial institutions with his pragmatic policy experience, to resolve key disagreements.

Secretary Paulson deserves credit for working day and night to help reach an agreement and for his flexibility in negotiating changes to his original proposal.

Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street.

The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky financial deals. They did not jeopardize the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilization bill.

So we insisted that this bill contain several key provisions:

This legislation must contain independent and ongoing oversight to ensure that the recovery program is managed with full transparency and strict accountability.

The legislation must do everything possible to allow as many people to stay in their homes rather than face foreclosure.

The corporate CEOs whose companies will benefit from the public's participation in this recovery must not benefit by exorbitant salaries and golden parachute retirement bonuses.

Our message to Wall Street is this: the party is over. The era of golden parachutes for high-flying Wall Street operators is over. No longer will the U.S. taxpayer bailout the recklessness of Wall Street.

The taxpayers who bear the risk in this recovery must share in the upside as the economy recovers.

And should this program not pay for itself, the financial institutions that benefited, not the taxpayers, must bear responsibility for making up the difference.

These were the Democratic demands to safeguard the American taxpayer, to help the economy recover, and to impose tough accountability as a central component of this recovery effort.

This legislation is not the end of congressional activity on this crisis. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will continue to hold investigative and oversight hearings to find out how the crisis developed, where mistakes were made, and how the recovery must be managed to protect the middle class and the American taxpayer.

With passage of this legislation today, we can begin the difficult job of turning our economy around, of helping those who depend on a growing economy and stable financial institutions for a secure retirement, for the education of their children, for jobs and small business credit.

Today we must act for those Americans, for Main Street, and we must act now, with the bipartisan spirit of cooperation which allowed us to fashion this legislation.

This not enough. We are also working to restore our nation's economic strength by passing a new economic recovery stimulus package- a robust, job creating bill-that will help Americans struggling with high prices, get our economy back on track, and renew the American Dream.

Today, we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years with the failed economic leadership that has left us left capable of meeting the challenges of the future.

We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a New Direction to a better future.


Someone challenged the truth of the allegation that the Republicans were blaming Pelosi. It took me a while, but I found the

And here is Barney Frank's response to a reporter asking about this statement.


Melli said...

It's all very trying on the general population... that is certain... but what I read said that the vote went the way it did because the congressmen - both republican and democrats - were catching so much flack from their constituents back home that too many were afraid to vote FOR it - being an election year.

Robert said...

What is your source for this alleged reason for not passing the bail out? As stupid as you think republicans are, I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to say they are not passing it because they didn't like a speech (at least I hope not) and if someone did, I'm with you. I'd have issues with that person or persons that would say such a thing. But to attribute it to the entire party wouldn't make much sense either...unless said party was in full agreement.

Raven said...

melli - I do think that is part of it. For myself I'm not sure what to think. I signed petitions against the original bail-out but I stopped after that because I don't understand the situation clearly enough to know what's the best thing to do.

Robert - I couldn't find video that I can post here, but I'll add a link to the page at Huffington Post where there is video of the Republican statement followed by Barney Frank commenting on it. In addition to reading it, I heard it mentioned in the TV news and found reference to it in a number of places besides HuffPo when I was looking for the video and text of Pelosi's speech. Here's a link to the video at HuffPo.

Robert said...

I watched the video. He did NOT say he didn't vote for it because of her speech. He said she caused people to not vote for it. He stated that eh wanted it to go through and was disappointed that they didn't get the votes. He never said they didn't vote for it because they didn't like her speech. Frank interpreted this as some didn't vote for it because they had their feelings hurt which is nonsense. If Frank can back up his claim that 12 didn't vote in favor because their feelings were hurt, then I'll be happy to listen. The first video failed to prove your point. It actually showed Republicans disappointed that it didn't go through. The second video is just political blame shifting without actual factual support.

Raven said...

Robert - he absolutely DID say that her speech caused people to change their votes. It's what he said and it's what the media is reporting he said. It's there on tape. "I do believe we could have gotten there today had it not been for the partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the house... uh ... we were we we put everything we had in getting the bill to get there today but uh the speaker had to give a partisan voice that poisoned our conference and caused a number of members of the that we thought we could get to go south...

Unknown said...

Full version of Pelosi Speech which is not shown on TV, I watched here:
It shows all her speech, including the way it is the cruellest way to criticize the President calling his actions criminal!
Highly recommended!

Raven said...

stive - thanks for the link. I think Bush is a criminal... and this is the least of his criminal activities. Thanks for the link.

Diana said...

A few people tried to make the claim that the speech was the reason they didn't vote for it. The real reason was that it was unconstitutional, fiscally irresponsible, and because House members received 1.5 million calls and emails from voters (such as myself) - with 100 to 1 telling them that if they vote for this thing, they will not get re-elected.

Why anyone is trying to take credit for the bill, or pass blame for it failing is beyond me, when everyone seems to hate it.

Raven said...

Hi wonderful niece,

I wrote opposing the original. I don't know what to think about what they are doing. But Dennis K voted against it and I trust his instincts.

My point here isn't the right-ness or wrongness of the bill as much as the hypocrisy and self-servingness of the so-called reason for not voting for it. These people can't seem to act like grown-ups under any circumstances. It's really discouraging.

Diana said...

Hi beloved Aunt,

For the first time in 8 years, a majority of the House stood up to intense pressure and fear-mongering from the Bush administration and gave him the finger, in favor of the American people. Democrats and Republicans stood together to keep this thing from going through - for their own reasons but for GOOD reasons. DC leadership surely did not make it easy for them to do so. Let's give credit where credit is due. I was stunned by their action - in a good way.

Raven said...

Hi Diana - I was stunned in a bad way initially - until I read Kucinich and then I felt better about it. What my point is in this post is that they didn't give the sane reason - we think this is a bad bill - they said they voted against it because Nancy Pelosi is partisan. THAT is just dim-witted. Voting against the substance is fine with me, especially - if you explain to me (who is woefully dim about economics) WHY you did so.

What is making me - and people like me nuts, I think is that with one breath we are being told that the sky is falling and then we're told that the people who we hired to keep it from falling took their crayons and went home because somebody said something they didn't like and the sky can just fall on us because they are pissed off. They didn't SAY (or it didn't get REPORTED - which is another whole discussion) - we think this is a bad bill on principle and has to be made better before I vote for it. THAT I'm fine with.

Raven said...

PS to Diana - Thanks for raising these points because they are really good ones.

San said...

Thank you for posting this. Yes, the reasons for not voting for the legislation are the wrong ones--"Will I get re-elected if I vote the wrong way?" And "I am mad at that speech."