Congressman Diaz-Balart’s Message to Constituents on Bailout Bill

September 30th, 2008 – - Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3997, the 700 billion dollar Wall Street Bailout bill. I appreciate hearing from you.

I write to inform you that I voted “no” on H.R. 3997. American taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the irresponsible behavior of Wall Street executives. The average citizen is forced to play by the rules, yet many who did not would get a massive bailout from taxpayers in this plan. This is fundamentally unfair. By bailing out reckless behavior we would encourage future reckless behavior.

Although the legislation was an improvement over the initial Paulson proposal, I could not support a massive bailout for Wall Street firms that did too little to help homeowners stay in their homes and was totally paid for by the American taxpayer, not Wall Street.

I strongly supported the inclusion of Section 102 in the bill, in order for the Federal government to provide insurance to guarantee troubled assets held by financial institutions. But this insurance program needs to be mandatory, not voluntary as in this bill, and it should be our first option, before we commit hundreds of billions of the taxpayers’ dollars. By requiring mandatory government insurance we could greatly reduce the cost to the taxpayer.

The principles that guided my decision were:

• Wall Street, Not Taxpayers should fund Wall Street’s recovery.
• Private Capital, Not Unlimited Tax Dollars should be injected into financial markets.
• Immediate Transparency, Oversight and Market Reform are needed.

I continue working on this critical issue. Again, thank you for your letter. Please feel free to contact me whenever you have an issue you wish to bring to my attention. Your views are important to me and always welcome.

Cordially,

Lincoln Diaz-Balart

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