Hare, LaHood hail bailout as ‘necessary’

John R. Pulliam

Calling the package “not perfect,” but “necessary,” Congressman Phil Hare voted with the majority as the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act on Friday afternoon by a margin of 263-171. Congressman Ray LaHood also voted in favor of the package.

After the House rejected the original measure Monday, the Senate on Thursday night approved the measure 74-25, after adding $110 billion in tax and spending measures.

“We can’t let the financial infrastructure of our country fall apart and it was falling apart,” LaHood, R-Peoria, said Friday afternoon.

He said a number of safeguards were built into the bill, including increasing the amount of money insured by the FDIC from $100,000 to $250,000. He said no action was not an option. Many baby boomers nearing retirement saw their 401(k) accounts drop in value by 20-40 percent in recent weeks.

“I think we made the right decision,” LaHood said. “I think we made the right decision for Main Street America.”

Hare, D-Rock Island, was especially pleased with provisions for those at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.

“The revised rescue package passed by both the House and Senate maintains the core principles of the bill that was defeated Monday and does even more for those at risk of foreclosure, by allowing the government to renegotiate mortgage terms. As someone who lost my home growing up, this is a provision I have been fighting for,” Hare said.

“This package is not a bailout,” he said. “It is a loan that requires taxpayers to be paid back in full. It has strict independent oversight provisions and limits on executive compensation.”

While some analysts criticized the Senate’s version of the bill for including too much “pork,” or earmarks, Hare liked an addition dealing with energy.

“I am also pleased that this package includes the extension of tax incentives for the production of alternative forms of energy — including wind, solar, biodiesel and geothermal — which have been stalled in the Senate. This will allow the many agricultural producers in our area to grow and prosper, helping pave the way to economic recovery.”

Earlier in the day, Hare released a statement in response to a report showing the U.S. lost 159,000 jobs in September, bringing the total job loss for the year to 760,000.

“This jobs report should compel the Senate to act on the House passed economic stimulus package that creates jobs by investing in our crumbling infrastructure,” Hare said.

LaHood said he is happy the financial rescue plan was developed and approved so quickly.

“It was done in a bipartisan way ... and I think it will be a big help,” he said.

The Register-Mail