Casey Statement Before Vote on Economic Stabilizaton Bill

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today released the following statement in advance of the Senate vote on the bailout bill:

“This is a time of great economic uncertainty in our nation’s history.  For many families in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, the recession has been part of their lives for many months now.  

“Just yesterday we learned that the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania went from 5.4% to 5.8% in the month of August and for some parts of the state it went up far more than half a percentage point.  We also learned that in the month of August, the foreclosure rate in Pennsylvania went up by more than 60% from the previous year.   The job loss and foreclosure rates are indicators of the economic trauma that many families have felt in Pennsylvania and across America.

“The United States is in a financial crisis that could become worse than anything in a generation.  And our problems are already spreading into the global economy.  If the Federal Government fails to take action right now, there is a real threat to small businesses and jobs, as well as mortgages, pensions and savings.

“For all these reasons, Congress must act and I have decided to vote in favor of HR 1424.

In the last two weeks, I have worked hard to be sure that this bill includes provisions to help families who are struggling.  I’ve closely questioned and sent two detailed letters to Treasury Secretary Paulson, Federal Chairman Bernanke and also spoke to leading economists about this legislation. 

“This 100-page bill is a dramatic improvement over the three page bill sent to us by Secretary Paulson.  It limits executive salaries and bonuses.  It protects the Government’s investment and allows profits to go back to the taxpayers.  It has real oversight, by an independent oversight board and a special Inspector General.  It helps working families who face foreclosure and raises FDIC insurance limits to protect small businesses.  The bill also expands the HOPE for homeowners program enacted in July to prevent foreclosures.

“Enactment of this legislation is only the first in a series of steps we must take to bring about economic recovery.  We need to institute rigorous and aggressive regulation of players in the market place in order to prevent the abuses which caused our economic problems.”

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