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Congressman Rob Bishop

Representing the 1st District of Utah

Bishop Votes Against Final Bailout Bill

October 3, 2008
Press Release

Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) issued the following statement today after voting against the final version of the bailout legislation:

"I enjoyed teaching history, in large part, because of the wisdom that hindsight provides.  That advantage wasn't present on this issue.  There is a crisis, but no one knows for sure how severe it is or will become.  We needed to act, but no one knows if the current plan will work."

"We are in a tough financial time, and there are legitimate concerns it could get worse fast.  But it's enough of a problem and concern that we should have taken a little more time and looked at legitimate alternatives – particularly more market-based approaches.  We were told that the original proposal was the best we could do.  But when people said no it got better.  We were then told that the bill we had to vote on last Monday, which was an improvement, was the best we could do.  But when the House said no, it got better.  Finally, we were told that the bill before us today, which was indeed better, was the best we could do.  The bill got better over time, but we'll never know how much better it could have become because of the locked down process in the House. If Speaker Pelosi had allowed an open process, we could have explored better options."

"Writing bills in secret and allowing absolutely no amendments by anyone on the floor meant legitimate ideas aimed at protecting the taxpayers and limiting the taxpayers' potential liability were never allowed to be explored or voted.  That was frustrating.  This year we had more bills on the floor with no chance for amendments than during anytime in the history of Congress.  That did not make for a better process, and I fear that did not make for a better product either."

"I backed a conservative alternative that along with others deserved to at least be considered.  But on all of these proposals, including the one we were forced to vote on today (with only an up or down vote), there was no committee work, no public input, no amendments allowed, and no chance to improve it on the floor.  Had we been given the chance to discuss and vote on alternatives, we could have at least verified how much further we could have pushed taxpayer protections and a solution that would have been more free-market-based."

"As I said before, House Republican Leadership helped make this bill a lot better than the original proposal, and conservative Republicans fought for the right principles in this debate.  But the final legislation still was too large an amount to authorize all at once, represented too much government intervention, and put the taxpayers too much at risk."