Salazar, Udall: Bill’s protections for taxpayers were insufficient

The Western Slope’s two congressmen, Manassa Democrat John Salazar and Eldorado Springs Democrat Mark Udall, both said a proposed $700 billion bailout for the faltering financial markets simply did not go far enough to protect taxpayers.

“I take very seriously the warnings about how conditions in the credit markets could affect the overall economy. But, the cost of this bailout was too high and the return far too uncertain for the American families who were being asked to bear the burden,” Udall said in a statement.

The legislation’s failure sparked a record drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and similar declines in other indexes. It have allowed the U.S. Treasury to buy up bad mortgages and other distressed assets held by commercial banks and other financial entities.

Salazar, whose district includes Grand Junction, said he thought the bill failed to do enough to help homeowners facing foreclosures.

“The bill is also deficient in that it provides no relief to homeowners who desperately want to remain in their homes but need direct assistance,” he said.

Reps. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan., and Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs., also voted against the bill, which died in a 205-228 vote.

The bill’s supporters, including Reps. Tom Tancredo, R-Littleton, and Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden., said they were discouraged that Congress did not act quickly enough to prevent the financial markets from tanking.

“Our nation faces serious economic challenges that require serious action,” Congresswoman Diana DeGette, D-Denver, said in a statement Monday. “Doing nothing risks a freeze in our financial markets, further exacerbating the economic meltdown while everyday Americans suffer.

“After the vote today, about a trillion dollars of wealth in our economy evaporated in just a few hours.”

Though the two sides split in their support for the legislation, they agreed that Congress should go back to the negotiating table and hash out a second bill before the House adjourns for the fall.


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