Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says congress should pass disaster relief before it takes action on relief for Wall Street. "There are thousands of residents in Iowa living in temporary housing whose homes have been destroyed by tornadoes and flooding." Braley says, "and so if we’re going to be talking about a bailout to rescue people who’ve been making risky decisions on Wall Street for years that can’t even come to the table, in my judgment, until we do something to help people in need in places like Iowa and Wisconsin and Texas and other places around the country who’ve been devastated by natural disasters and have had their lives turned upside down."
President Bush is pushing congress to quickly give the U.S. treasury secretary billions to bail out Wall Street firms that’re in danger of failing because of bad debt. "Everyone that I talk to on both sides of the aisle is not willing to sign off on a $700 billion bail out package on three pages of paper with no strings attached to it," Braley says. "…There can’t be a blank check when the taxpayers are on the hook for this much money."
President Bush says the situation is "dire" and something must be done quickly to stop an economic meltdown. According to Braley, the reaction among members of congress is "in flux" and both Democrats and Republicans are raising serious questions. "We are all hearing about this from constituents in our district and the message is very clear that the no-strings-attached proposal from the White House is unacceptable to the American people and that’s why I think there is so much bipartisan interest on creating better accountability and dealing with much more than a one-time solution by injecting a huge amount of federal money into the marketplace," Braley says.
Braley would like the package to include help for homeowners and new limits on the compensation packages of executives at the head of companies which are getting the government bailout.