Ill. reps weigh in on bailout plan

September 26, 2008 2:26:58 PM PDT
Illinois lawmakers plan to stay in Washington, D.C. for as long as it takes to come up with a plan to stabilize the U.S. economy. "When I listen to my constituents, I'm sensing they want to make sure that we have explored every conceivable possibility before coming to them and asking them for, what will be, knocking on the door of a trillion dollars," said Rep. Peter Roskam, (R) WEST & NORTHWEST SUBURBS.

President Bush addressed the nation last night, asking for a 700 billion dollar bailout. His plan does not have enough votes, so congressional leaders were busy hammering out other options today.

"As we speak at this moment, in the afternoon here in Washington DC, the votes do not exist in order to bring this deal about....this is suppose to be a rescue plan, let's make sure it is and not just a bailout of Wall Street investment bankers," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, (D) CHICAGO.

"We have taken a breath, slowed down, not jumped the way we were asked to jumped and do it in a thoughtful way...so we can protect taxpayer dollars," said Rep. Melissa Bean, (D) FAR NORTH SUBURBS.

If Federal money is used, Congressional leaders want to develop an independent panel to oversee the money, restrict CEO payouts and, ultimately, protect taxpayers.

"They're not interested in a bailout...they would be interested in a booster shot...a lot less money, under more strict controls," said Rep. Donald Manzullo, (R) ROCKFORD.

And Illinois congressional leaders had mixed feelings about the presidential hopefuls meeting with President Bush at the White House this afternoon.

"They do have an obligation as senators - first and foremost - and I was pleased that they suspended their campaign activity to get that done," said Roskam.

"They should go back on the campaign trail...and continue to campaign for president of the US. I assure the American public, there are enough of us here already meddling in this process. We don't need two more," said Gutierrez.

It's a process that may take some time.

"Bring in the sleeping cots...we should not leave this city until this problem is resolved," said Manzullo.


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