Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Oct 3, 2008
Floor Speech


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   Mr. PASCRELL. Madam Speaker, if we had approved the legislation on Monday, we would not have been able to pass the tax extenders package, which includes business and energy tax extenders. The AMT patch, we all worked hard on that across the aisle, whether you wanted to pay for it or not was the debate, and the additional disaster assistance as well as mental health parity. I think these are important.

   Alexander Hamilton, my idol, was very clear that there are immutable principles of moral obligation. Monday I voted ``no,'' and I know that the enemy of the good is the perfect. But since Monday we have improved certain parts of the bill. And there is some junk in this bill. There are no two ways about it. But that is not unique on this bill.

   So to help the American people, I am now supporting today's financial package. And it's really the McCrery-Rangel team that got me to this point.

   You guys have worked closely together. You are a good model and example for what we should be doing.

   I pray that I'm doing the right thing. I believe so in my heart. God bless this country. We will prevail.

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   Madam Speaker, the legislation we have before us today arises at a vital time when Americans are suffering under a rapidly failing financial market and collapsing housing market.

   My ``no'' vote on Monday was among one of the most difficult votes I have had to cast in my 12 years as a Member of Congress.

   My goal in Congress has always been to fight for the best interest of ordinary Americans--to fight for the American worker, the American small business owner, the people who make up the heart and soul of our nation.

   I thought of them when I voted ``no'' on Monday because that bill fell short of helping those people who are suffering the most from this financial crisis.

   Today, I stand before you far from assured that this legislation is a s good as it can be but understanding that we cannot stand back and allow our financial markets, credit markets, housing market, pension plans, and small businesses to collapse under the weight of the errors made by Wall Street.

   Lead by Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Frank we have taken an inadequate 2 1/2 page proposal and developed a more substantial bipartisan piece of legislation which we present today.

   I support the addition of the increase to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, FDIC. It is exactly the type of bottomup, community approach we need to put liquidity back in to Wall Street.

   Furthermore, if we had approved the bill on Monday we would not have been able to pass this tax extenders package that includes business and energy tax extenders, an AMT patch, additional disaster assistance as well as mental health parity.

   I am certainly disappointed that these provisions are not paid for but it would be unconscionable to allow the American people to suffer without this tax relief.

   Today's bill is not perfect but we have done what we needed to do for the American people. In truth if you gave every Member of Congress a chance to draft a proposal to address this crisis we would have 435 bills in front of us today--the enemy of the good is the perfect.

   Since Monday we have improved this bill to help the American people and therefore I am supporting today's financial rescue package. I urge all my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to vote ``yes'' on Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

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