May 20th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today thanked Senate Republicans for blocking the Dodd financial takeover bill yesterday and urged them to “hold the line against a government intervention into the economy that, once enacted, will never end.”
“Senate Republicans deserve the thanks of the American people for standing in the way of legislation that has not addressed the root, government causes of the financial crisis, and instead will institutionalize them for all time,” Wilson said.
Wilson appealed to Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to join the filibuster. “The American people are not getting a good deal out of this bill from Senators Snowe and Collins. The people are being asked to give the government more power to take over or bail out companies, levy taxes and fees, and monitor every financial transaction in the country, large and small, all without Congressional approval or the possibility for judicial review.”
“In return, the American people are not getting anything. The bill fails to rein in the government causes of the financial crisis that Senators Snowe and Collins have the most direct control over. The American people deserve better,” Wilson said.
“I believe Senators Snowe and Collins can and should deliver more for the American people. They can and should be insisting on the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and end to perpetual bailouts and government takeovers in this legislation that institutionalize ‘too big to fail’ in law.”
“Senators Snowe and Collins both supported Senator John McCain’s amendment that would have ended government control of the mortgage market, and they have the power to demand that this amendment and others ending bailouts and ‘too big to fail’ be adopted. They would be heroes,” Wilson noted.
“Even Senators Dick Durbin and Chris Dodd admit that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to be reformed, and yet they voted against Senator McCain’s very reasonable amendment. To date, they still refuse to do anything to rein in government control of the mortgage market, and Senators Snowe and Collins should tell them that’s not good enough,” Wilson said.
Yesterday on the floor of the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin admitted to Senator Johnny Isakson that government failed in its administration of the housing and mortgage industry: “I will concede that this, what you pointed to as a fundamental flaw, a mistake that was made, there was a presumption made, that owning a home was such a valuable American ideal… but, we went too far, we extended the opportunity for home ownership to people who weren’t ready.”
Durbin continued, “And we believed that if you pushed them to the limit of how much they could pay, that the home would appreciate in value, their incomes would go up and everything would work out. And it turned out that gamble was wrong… on some people. And certainly, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the ultimate guarantors of mortgages were part of that. So, there is a governmental element here, I don’t question that for a moment. So, certainly some blame lies there…”
Senator Dodd too admitted government’s failure to Isakson: “We in Congress collectively did not get job done with Fannie and Freddie… I acknowledge that.”
Neither Durbin nor Dodd thought that the time was right for Congress to do anything about Fannie and Freddie, however. Dodd told Isakson, “I totally agree with your premise [that Fannie and Freddie need to be reformed], the question is that as Chairman of this committee I didn’t know how… we fix this thing at this point… I would also plead that the failure to deal with that in this bill ought not to be justification for walking away…”
“Senators Dodd and Durbin are passing the buck to the American people, to future generations to deal with the government mismanagement of housing finance that caused the crisis. They know government failed, and yet they refuse to do a thing about it,” Wilson declared.
“Senators Snowe and Collins must not be complicit in throwing away the American people’s best chance to rein in the government-caused institution of ‘too big to fail’, the government-controlled mortgage market that created the crisis, and the government-administered bailouts that will never end under the Dodd bill,” Wilson said.
“Only Senators Snowe and Collins can stop the government establishment of unlimited authority to monitor all financial activity in the country, levy taxes, and seize companies, all without Congressional approval of the possibility of judicial appeal. The choice is theirs,” Wilson concluded.
“’Down a Rabbit Hole:’ The Threat Posed by the Dodd Bill to the Private Sector,” May 13th, 2010, Americans for Limited Government.
Letter to the U.S. Senate, ALG President Bill Wilson, April 26th, 2010.
Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.