News Release

Defeat of Wall Street Bailout

Statement of U.S. PIRG’s Ed Mierzwinski on Defeat of Wall Street Bailout
For Immediate Release

“Today the House of Representatives listened to concerned Main Street voters and taxpayers and defeated a defective Wall Street bailout.

The flawed $700 billion package requested by the Bush administration had been fast-tracked to address the still-real threat of a financial markets meltdown. Any chance the bill would be worth passing fell apart when the administration blocked the addition of real protections for homeowners and taxpayers and cynically insisting on provisions that made the bailout more like ice cream for the financial industry than tough medicine. That sweetness for Wall Street, and bitter pills and big tax bills for Main Street, doomed the bill in the House.

If serious about addressing the problem, Congress must make its number one priority protection for taxpayers by protecting homeowners from foreclosure. They must include a mandatory court-supervised program for modifying loan terms so people can pay their mortgages and stay in their homes. That will both lower the cost of the bailout and preserve their home values in communities across the country.

Congress should also improve the bill’s vague and inadequate limits on executive compensation and improve accountability for the spending of the $700 billion taxpayer dollars on the table.

It is quite simple: If a company is going to rely on the taxpayer for cash, then taxpayers, not failed CEOs, deserve first choice of any bonuses and commissions for its success.

We will oppose any new bill before adjournment that fails to place Main Street first.

We also call on congressional leaders to commit to addressing in the first 100 days of the next Congress a broader set of financial system regulatory reforms and of the economic stimulus package for Main Street that has stalled.”

To find out the latest on our work to make sure that any bailout plan that passes helps homeowners and protects taxpayers, check out U.S. PIRG's Wall Street Oversight page.

Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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