Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, changed his vote from "no" to "yes" on the Wall Street bailout bill which cleared the U.S. House this afternoon. Braley talked by phone with Iowa reporters just before casting the vote, and says the bill includes disaster assistance, business incentives and a boost to "green jobs" that will benefit Iowa.
"This proposal will provide billions of dollars of relief for Iowa families, businesses and communities, and that includes billions of dollars for Iowans that I have long supported," Braley says. Braley says he believes the new bill will lead to more reform.
Braley says other factors that were of a concern were addressed in conversations with Senator Barrack Obama, and public statements of John McCain that the "push to real regulatory reform that’s included in this bill will become a reality under the next administration."
Braley says this is undoubtedly the issue he’s received the most input on from his first district constituents. He says before he voted the first time, the feedback was almost overwhelming opposed to the plan. Braley says after that vote the input was 50-50 on those who supported or opposed the new package. Braley says that change in feedback made him decide to vote for the bill. Republican Congressmen Tom Latham of Ames voted against the bailout bill — just as he did with the first bill.
Latham says he does not believe it’s right to give the treasury secretary a blank check for 700-billion dollars in taxpayer funds and no one knows where it’s going to go. "I believe that without the kind of safeguards that we needed that this money could actually reward the people who caused this disaster in the first place," Latham says.
Latham says there was an alternative that would have been better. He says there was an amendment that was not allowed that would cut the money down to 250 billion dollars. Latham says the treasury can only spend about 50 billion dollars a month anyway, and they could see how it goes and see if it works, and then approve more money. Latham says the amendment would also have cut out all the extras added into the bill.
Latham can’t say if the bill will do what it’s supposed to do. Latham says no one knows if it will actually help, and some economists say it could help encourage more bad behavior by bailing out the people who caused the problems on the backs of the taxpayers.
Congressman Steve King of Kiron also voted "no." Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, changed his vote from "no" to "yes" on the bailout bill. Democratic Congressmen Dave Loebsack of Mount Vernon and Leonard Boswell of Des Moines also voted "yes" to the bill.