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Dear Madame Speaker

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. basso

    basso Member
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    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MGViMTg0ZGI4YWEyNjJjYmMwOWYwNjg4YWE0YzhjZTU=

    [rquoter]The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

    Speaker of the House

    H-232, U.S. Capitol

    Washington, D.C. 20515


    Madame Speaker:

    As our discussion ended last night, we agreed to continue talking about how to best solve this economic crisis. Like you, House Republicans and I believe we must address this crisis quickly and in a way that protects the interests of families, seniors, small businesses, and all taxpayers. As you know, this process is not about faceless executives on Wall Street, but about keeping families in their homes, safeguarding their retirement security, college savings, and bank accounts, and protecting their jobs.


    Over the last week, we have frequently discussed Secretary Paulson’s proposal, and I have repeatedly expressed the need for improvements on behalf of myself and my Republican colleagues. Our staffs have also been in regular contact. To that end, Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL) was tasked by House Republicans to engage in discussions with Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and report back to our Conference on the progress of those negotiations before a final deal could be made. Yet Chairman Frank and Chairman Dodd, on several occasions over the last several days, announced that a bipartisan deal was at hand even though the reservations about the underlying proposal I had expressed to you had not been addressed. Each time such announcements were made, or even rumored, I or my staff made it clear to media and to your staff that any such deal did not include House Republicans.


    As we demonstrated at the beginning of this year when we crafted a timely agreement on the economic stimulus package, a bipartisan response to our nation’s priorities is never out of reach. And I believe the same holds true at this hour. House Republicans are prepared to stay in Washington to forge an agreement on a proposal that reflects the core free-market, pro-taxpayer principles of our Party.

    With that in mind, earlier this week, with your knowledge, I directed our Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) to lead a working group of House Republicans to develop a package of ideas to move this process forward. His working group represented a broad cross-section of House Republicans – including both moderate and conservative members – and their goal was to develop ideas worthy of support on both sides of the aisle. We have discussed some of these ideas, and I would like to reiterate that I believe they should be given the consideration they deserve as our economic rescue discussions continue. A brief overview of the working group’s blueprint is included with this letter.

    Madam Speaker, we owe it to all those with a stake in this process to continue our discussions until we arrive at an agreement that is acceptable on both sides of the aisle – and more importantly, one that serves the interests of American taxpayers. That is why I ask you and your Democratic colleagues to give the House Republican working group’s proposals serious consideration as this process moves forward. If such consideration is not given, a large majority of Republicans cannot – and will not – support Sec. Paulson’s plan. In the interest of the men and women we represent in Congress, I hope it does not come to that conclusion. I look forward to your timely response and to continuing our work together on an economic rescue package worthy of all of our support.

    Sincerely,

    John Boehner

    Republican Leader[/rquoter]
     
  2. mc mark

    mc mark Member

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    republicans eating their own president

    ain't pretty
     
  3. SamFisher

    SamFisher Member

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    Wow I wonder why Boehner didn't include this reason for his opposition:


    Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Republican Leader John
    Boehner, said the speed with which Dodd's plan was put together
    was designed ``to deny Senator McCain a role in trying to craft a
    bipartisan solution
    .''


    basso let's also be clear - do you oppose the compromise plan agreed to by Senate Republicans and the White House, and you support the wingnut House plan?

    Be perfectly clear here.
     
  4. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    Warren Buffet thinks the bailout deal will turn a profit for the US government.

    That guy gets it.

    DD
     
  5. Major

    Major Member

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    Good luck with that. Basso prefers to simply wait to see what answer will benefit McCain the most, and then go with that. Until that's clear, it's unlikely that he commits to anything.
     
  6. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    Wait, what? This is all politics as usual?

    Covering their arse so they can point fingers?

    What I wonder is whether the dems will have the stones to just thumb their noses and carry forward saying they are doing what is right for the country.

    All they need to do is market the plan and show how it could turn a profit and probably will NOT cost the tax payers all that much in a worst case scenario.

    DD
     
  7. Major

    Major Member

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    Exactly right - they should hold the vote, have all the House GOP idiots vote no, and then go and promote the cohesive message that while the rest of Washington came together to save the country from a depression, the House GOP sat and played politics.
     
  8. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    Agreed...then they need to market the heck out of the plan, because a good portion of America thinks we are just giving 700 billion to Wall Street.

    They need to explain it in simple terms so the average American gets it.

    It will make the republican house members look even worse.

    Also, McCain was FOR the deal, what happened?

    DD
     
  9. basso

    basso Member
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    i could theoretically support the paulson plan, as originally conceived, and if that's what the democrats want and truly believe it's best for the country, they could pass it in an hour. however, that's not what they want. the democrats want to lard up the paulson plan with give aways for folks like ACORN, which i don't support.
     
  10. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    I hope that everyone realizes the gravity of the situation and does NOT pork up the bill.

    DD
     
  11. SamFisher

    SamFisher Member

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    So you support either the three page plan that gives Treasury a blank check and no oversight or restrictions or rules or anything....or the Republican House wingnut pseudo-plan which is basically doing nothing other than some ill-conceived insurance plan and some more tax cuts which nobody serious believes will work.

    But you don't support the Paulson plan with safeguards and checks built in, controversial ones like judicial review, and executive pay limits for welfare-using companies.

    Essentially - you are lining up on both sides of the Republican civil war - you support the President and the richie rich wing and you support the pseudo-populists and the black helicopters wing.

    basso. Twisting himself into logical knots since 2002.
     
  12. weslinder

    weslinder Member

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    Apparantly Barney Frank bailout has the votes to win. Most Senate Republicans and a few House Republicans support it. It can pass now, with or without Boehner, et al's support. If it's really that good of a bill, they could get huge political points by passing it without most of the House Republicans.
     
  13. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    The problem is that a lot of the people opposing it are getting hammered by their constituancy to vote against it....because....most of those people have no clue as to how it works, they think we are giving 700 billion away.

    Someone needs to do a better job of MARKETING this plan to the American people....

    DD
     
  14. Major

    Major Member

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    I agree - and I think they should leave the no votes and just move on. I think the counter-argument about this is that its, in many ways, a confidence-building measure and they want to present a unified front to the market. They don't want the market worrying that when the Treasury reports to the Congress to get the 2nd chunk of the money, that we'll have these fights all over again. A mostly unanimous bill has a lot of value in terms of perception.

    I think if the House GOP is still not on board by Sunday, you just pass it without them.
     
  15. basso

    basso Member
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    i didn't say i supported the house rep plan as is, nor did i say i was enthusiastic about the paulson plan. none of the plans on offer are ideal, but isn't it the job of congress to work together and craft a bill that everyone can support?
     
  16. weslinder

    weslinder Member

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    The reason why this won't happen is that there's not a lot of confidence in the plan. Everyone wants to do something, but many of the Democrats not named Frank or Dodd are rightfully scared that it's not going to help anything, and they will have sent hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars up in smoke. So they want to be able to share the political "risk of failure". The last thing they want is to leave most of the House Republicans in a position to say, "I told you so."
     
  17. deepblue

    deepblue Member

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    I think either way, the House Republicans that are holding out can say "I told you so." This bill might help us avoid a complete collapse of our banking system, but its not going to magically turn around the economy in 3 month. Going forward economy probably will be worse regardless.

    That being said, they need to get their butts in gear and get it done.
     
  18. basso

    basso Member
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    here's a decent explanation of what the house reps are looking for, and why.

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/...ing-the-700-billion-bailout-is-insurance.html

    [rquoter]Note to Paulson: The Key to Passing the $700 Billion Bailout Is Insurance
    September 26, 2008 09:58 AM ET | Michael Barone | Permanent Link

    Contrary to widespread expectations in Washington and on Wall Street, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's financial bailout/rescue package was not agreed to at the White House meeting that started at 4 p.m. Thursday. The meeting included the congressional and committee leaders of both parties and the administration's top financial officials, plus two presidents—George W. Bush and either Barack Obama or John McCain.

    What's the problem? An agreement modifying the Paulson plan in significant ways seems to have been reached on the Senate side, between Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd and the committee's second-ranking Republican, Bob Bennett (the ranking Republican, Richard Shelby, is against the whole thing). Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, expressed confidence that an agreement was reachable. But the word on Capitol Hill is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is insisting that some substantial number of House Republicans—I've heard the number 110—vote for the measure.

    Obviously, Pelosi is looking out for the political fortunes of her Democratic colleagues. The bailout/rescue package has been getting middling to poor responses in polls and furious responses from constituents who don't want their tax dollars sent to Wall Street. House Republicans like Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan have been making populist noises. This would be the second issue this year on which Democrats have found their position suddenly unpopular, the other being oil drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey just capitulated on the latter, dropping the language banning offshore drilling from the appropriations bill before the House.

    Pelosi's move is not unprecedented. In 1993, when the House was considering the North America Free Trade Agreement, which the Clinton administration and most House Republicans supported and most House Democrats favored, Minority Whip Newt Gingrich insisted that 100 House Democrats vote for it before House Republicans would put their votes on the board. Gingrich then, like Pelosi today, wanted to give his members shelter against what some would consider demagogic attacks. The minority party in the House ordinarily has little power; on much legislation, it is no more than a bystander. But in situations like this, when the majority party in the House needs cover for its members, the minority party in the House can suddenly have more power than the majority party and both sides of the Senate put together.

    What do House Republicans want? A senior House Republican gave me and some other reporters a look yesterday at what a working group headed by Assistant Minority Whip Eric Cantor is demanding. The senior House Republican (hereinafter SHR) has what sounded to me like an ingenious approach. He cited Ginnie Mae loans to low-income borrowers, which the government can insure. He proposed that the government (presumably through the entity envisioned by the Paulson plan) offer to sell insurance to financial institutions that hold mortgage-backed securities (hereinafter MBS). Premiums would be determined by the rates of foreclosure on each class of securities so far. Under this plan, the government would be taking in money, not paying it out. Of course, if the premiums are not enough to cover losses, the government might eventually take losses, as it did when the savings and loan industry collapsed. But losses don't seem inevitable and in any case will mostly occur in out-years, not now.

    One of the big problems of the Paulson plan is determining the price the government would pay for MBS. If it pays too little, it doesn't help financial institutions very much; if it pays too much, the government will be shelling out a lot of money and won't get back nearly as much when the MBS become liquid and it sells them. And who is qualified to make such evaluations? Many of them are people who have been working for the very financial institutions that are in trouble (although I should think the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve have some people who are very sophisticated in this, too).

    The SHR calls this an insurance program and the original Paulson plan a purchase program. He says Treasury Department people have told him that they considered an insurance program but decided that a purchase program would be better. But he also added that in the draft legislation Paulson has advanced, the Treasury would have the authority to set up such an insurance plan without congressional authorization. From what he said, it struck me that both courses could be followed. After all, neither purchases nor insurance is contemplated to take place unless and until a financial institution comes forward and requests one or the other.

    So I asked the SHR whether a commitment by Paulson to consider an insurance program would be enough to win over a significant number of House Republicans. He said that a hazy commitment would not be enough, with the implication that the bill would still seem to House Republicans to be a Wall Street bailout with the implication that the government would be shelling out $700 billion of taxpayer money. I followed up by asking whether House Republicans would go along if Paulson pledged to use authority in the statute to set up an insurance program within a month of passage. "That would go far toward convincing [Republican] members," the SHR said. In other words, the insurance option may be the way to save this legislation.

    Over to you, Secretary Paulson.[/rquoter]
     
  19. weslinder

    weslinder Member

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    I hate Paulson's proposal, but I don't see how the House Republican plan fixes the short-term liquidity issue. They need to add in my idea to give a much smaller loan to banks that are strong to keep lines of credit open.
     
  20. rimrocker

    rimrocker Member

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    I think the Paulson plan was terrible. I can live with the compromise because of the added oversight and the ability to cut it in half, but I don't like it.

    Here's what I see... a bunch of bad paper based on bad mortgages. You guys in Houston or NY may not see it as much, but there are huge swaths of homes in this country that aren't ever going back to what they were at the height of the bubble. If you drive around Sacramento or Stockton, there are essentially ghost suburbs, 30-50 or more miles away from good jobs... huge numbers of houses that were built for $100-120/sq. ft. and sold for 3 times that. These "values" aren't ever coming back and our society is slowly but surely moving away from the auto-centric ways of development... who's going to buy a depreciating house 50 miles away from the only jobs that could support such a purchase? Somebody's going to have to eat at least 2/3 of the sale value of those homes. If the government overpays for those, like Paulie wants, we end up eating some of that. The equity in these companies makes it slightly more palatable.

    As much as I hate it, I can hold my nose and stabilize the WATBs on Wall Street, but not to the tune of Paulie's original proposal.
     

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