As the Wall Street bailout talks continue, a critical Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is not confident that House will pass the legislation, as he told The Hill. "If the votes were there, this would be on the floor," he said. "The votes aren't there."
"Is this the United States Congress or the board of directors of Goldman Sachs?" Kucinich asked today. "Why aren't we helping homeowners directly with their debt burden? Why aren't we helping American families faced with bankruptcy. Why aren't we reducing debt for Main Street instead of Wall Street? Isn't it time for fundamental change in our debt-based monetary system, so we can free ourselves from the manipulation of the Federal Reserve and the banks?"
Kucinich attended a meeting of the "Skeptics Caucus," organized by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and consisting of House Democrats skeptical of the bailout effort. The meeting's speakers included economic professor James Galbraith of the University of Texas and former FDIC chairman William Isaac. Sherman called the legislation a Bush administration "power grab" and a handout to Wall Street. "This is greatest shift of power to the imperial presidency and the greatest shift of wealth to a still wealthy Wall Street that anyone could imagine," Sherman said.
"None of this has been subject to a critical analysis," charged Rep. Kucinich. "We haven't had access to the books to the people who are claiming they are going broke."
"They rushed this Congress into the Iraq resolution and look what happened," he added, comparing the rushed tone behind the bailout effort with the push to invade Iraq, "Catastrophe for this nation as well as for the people of Iraq."
"The $700 billion bailout for Wall Street is driven by fear, not fact," Kucinich said on the House floor Sunday. "This is too much money in too a short a time going to too few people while too many questions remain unanswered. Why aren't we having hearings on the plan we have just received? Why aren't we questioning the underlying premise of the need for a bailout with taxpayers' money? Why have we not considered any alternatives other than to give $700 billion to Wall Street? Why aren't we asking Wall Street to clean up its own mess? Why aren't we passing new laws to stop the speculation, which triggered this? Why aren't we putting up new regulatory structures to protect investors? How do we even value the $700 billion in toxic assets?"
Video of the Congressman's speech is available to view below: