Lame duck Rep. Tom Reynolds has not yet posted any news release to his web site explaining his vote yesterday in favor of the Bush-requested, Democratic-sponsored $700 billion bailout for Wall Street banks.
The following passage from the Buffalo News contains a brief quote from Reynolds explaining his position:
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said the bill would have put the nation “on the slippery slope to socialism. If you lose your ability to fail, soon you will lose your ability to succeed.”
Some Democrats indicated that the consequences of refusing to act had been exaggerated. “Like the Iraq War and the Patriot Act, this bill is fueled on fear and hinges on haste,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas.
Reynolds and Higgins disagreed.
“This is one of the last votes I will cast on behalf of the people of Western New York, and it may be the most important one,” Reynolds said.
Acknowledging that he wished he could support a more cost-effective alternative, Reynolds said: “But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my over three decades in public service, it’s that you cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Too many jobs, too many homes, too many 401(k)s, too many college educations, too many community banks are on the line to risk further inaction.”
In contrast, Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-29), issued a statement immediately after the vote. He's also posted an alternate plan. Blogger Rottenchester says the plan is hardly serious.
As for the positions of the two candidates for the 26th district on what to do in regard to current economic conditions, still no word from Republican Chris Lee. Several days prior to yesterday's vote, Alice Kryzan issued this statement.
UPDATE: Via the 26th District blog, we get an updated statement from Kryzan. Kryzan talks about the importance of consumer protection and oversight, but the plan rejected yesterday was weak in both those areas. Also, the blog contains this quote:
“Chris Lee has made deregulating our economy a centerpiece of his campaign,” said spokesperson Anne Wadsworth. “Now that we’ve seen the disastrous result of continuing Bush’s failed policies, he has nothing to say. The people of this district need answers, not knee-jerk deregulation rhetoric.”
The problem with the statement is there is already no lack of regulation in place -- such as the job-killing Sarbanes-Oxley Act -- and none of it prevented the current situation. The housing bubble has a lot more to do with Clinton-era policies, which Bush neglected to address, and with the Fed manipulating interest rates (which Bush doesn't control at all). I'm not defending Bush here by any stretch, just trying to keep the record straight. If you want to blame Bush for anything, blame him for trying to shove this "rush to bailout" down the throats of Americans, which House Democrats (except for 95 brave souls) seemed quite willing buy into hook, line and sinker.