Menendez Responds To Bush's Address On Wall Street Bailout Plan

Menendez Responds To Bush's Address On Wall Street Bailout Plan

Washington - In response to President Bush's address to the nation on the economic meltdown and Wall Street bailout proposal, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Banking Committee, released the following statement:

"Since last weekend, the American people and we in Congress have sent a strong message to President Bush, rejecting a no-strings-attached, blank-check Wall Street bailout. It seems as if that message has at least partially been received, judging by the president's speech and our meeting with Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke earlier. While I am somewhat more optimistic that we can pass the right kind of legislation than I was after yesterday's Banking Committee hearing, it is clear that there are a few issues of great interest to taxpayers and homeowners that the president still is not addressing. Oversight to protect taxpayers and limitations on CEO compensation are steps forward, but I didn't hear any mention of helping homeowners or additionally protecting taxpayers by having equity in the companies we help. As I have said before, we cannot be stampeded into passing a $700 billion plan without first ensuring that it is the right plan for taxpayers and homeowners, and we are not there yet.

"I would also add that while there are some constructive ways in which the presidential candidates can be helpful, injecting presidential politics into the heat of these negotiations at this late hour would only serve to distract from the critical task at hand. Senator McCain simply cannot expect to swoop in at the last minute without any real knowledge of the negotiations and expect to take credit for any potential deal that may be struck."

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