Kim Schmett, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s third congressional district, says he would not have voted for the Wall Street bailout. Congressman Leonard Boswell of Des Moines, the Democrat Schmett is challenging this November, voted for the bill.
"I think Congressman Boswell was in a huge rush to try to fix this just by committing our tax dollars. I think we should slow down and look at the problem and give some common sense solutions," Schmett says. "There are other situations that we had, other things that we did back in the ’80s that would allow private investment to address some of these problems. We don’t always have to spend our tax dollars."
Boswell defends his vote for the bailout bill. "Here we are on the brink of economic collapse, regardless of the reason, and to do nothing didn’t seem like a good choice," Boswell says. "My first reaction was, ‘Let the Wall Street people suffer,’ and then I got to thinking it through and giving it some time and thought, ‘We’ve got to try something, maybe take some risk.’"
Boswell and Schmett spoke at a forum hosted earlier today (Wednesday) by Iowa Public Radio. Schmett also pressed Boswell on the issue of flood aid. According to Schmett, it was wrong for Boswell to vote with his fellow Democrats to adjourn the House for the month of August without taking action on Midwest flood relief.
"When Katrina hit, we had a relief act within a day. A couple of years before that when the hurricanes hit the coast, it took them three or four days to get relief, so if they would have stayed in another hour or two they could have had that relief instead of going off for five weeks," Schmett said. "When they came back, it took them another two weeks, so that’s a seven-week delay." Boswell, in response, cited the more than two-and-a-half billion dollars in flood aid congress forwarded to Iowa before the House adjourned for its August recess.
"We got the assurance, just hours before we had the recess…the Speaker said this, that we would not adjourn when we came back — we would not adjourn until we did another appropriation for the flood’s needs and that she would come and visit our state," Boswell said. "I thought that was a commitment that was valid." Congress reconvened in September and took action on flood relief last month. Boswell is seeking a sixth term in Congress.