Congressman Mark Kirk's (R) Illinois ResponseSubmitted by chilly willy on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 19:48
I want to thank you so very much for contacting me regarding the financial crisis and proposals to respond.
In sum, I opposed Secretary Paulson's original proposal. By asking for a $700 billion taxpayer bailout, the original bill threatened to reward the very men who led our country's economy into this crisis.
As we go forward, I will follow several key principles, including:
1. Protect the jobs and savings of working Americans,
2. Defend the taxpayer, and
3. Punish the people responsible for this problem.
This week, I introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 7119, to make two key reforms. The first reform would be to ensure that no taxpayer dollars may go to pay for parachutes for senior officers of companies receiving direct assistance from the taxpayer. The second reform would give the power to the Secretary of the Treasury to terminate the employment of senior officers of bailed out institutions. I still serve in the Navy where we relieve the skipper of any ship that runs aground. In the last several weeks, many companies have run aground and their leaders should be fired.
When federal regulators took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they cancelled the Golden Parachutes for Daniel Mudd and Richard Syron, the two men that ruined these institutions. We should now set this principle into law.
Over the last few days, I contacted local community banks in Arlington Heights, Glenview, Libertyville, Lake Forest and Waukegan. The leaders of these banks said that the financial crisis had moved beyond Wall Street to Main Street. They said that they could not borrow money from other banks and had to curtail or end lending for businesses, home buying and cars. It is clear to me that we have to do something to confine the damage that Wall Street has done to protect the jobs and savings or ordinary Americans.
House Republicans joined together to reduce the cost of any emergency legislation and improved its chance of success. We believe that any legislation the Congress considers should have no earmarks or special provisions for individuals or companies. We also believe that permitting the market to offer loans or insurance - rather that a direct buyout - would dramatically limit the cost to taxpayers. We also insist that if any profit is eventually made on a stabilization package (the Federal government made $311 million from the rescue of Chrysler), these funds should go to pay the federal debt and no one else.
Any legislation to prevent a second depression must also be governed by an independent board with all transactions open to public scrutiny and published on the Internet. Greater public scrutiny will help make any rescue plan lower cost and less prone to problems.
Congress will be working into the weekend on this legislation. As we work late into the night, I wanted you to know exactly where I stood on these issues.
Thank you for taking the time to contact me on this very, very important issue. Please feel free to visit my website, www.house.gov/kirk, or contact me again should other issues of concern to you come before the Congress. To stay better connected to current legislation please sign up for my e-newsletter at kirk.houseenews.net/mail.
It is an honor to serve you in Congress.
Mark Steven Kirk
Member of Congress