No Stampede

Dear Mr. Hardaway:

Thank you for writing to me about the Bush Administration's proposal to bail out the financial industry. It's good to hear from you.

There's no question that we are in a credit crisis. People who have saved for their retirement, been faithful in paying their mortgage, and worked hard to pay for college are wondering, 'What is going on?'

They've watched Wall Street executives pay themselves lavish salaries. They've watched irresponsible lending practices. They've watched casino economics, gambling on risky investment mechanisms. Now those very same Americans who've worked hard and played by the rules are being asked to pay the bill for those who didn't.

Congress must act promptly to restore confidence and stability in the economy. But I will not be stampeded into voting for the Bush Administration bill. During the last seven years, every time there's a crisis, they generate fear and they generate bad ideas. This three-page bill gives the Secretary of the Treasury unlimited power to intervene in our financial markets without any review by Congress, agencies, or courts. It cannot be rubber stamped by the Congress.

At the minimum, the plan must be limited and temporary - not open-ended. There can't be any golden parachutes that reward executives for their excesses and their recklessness. No blank checks. There also must be a plan for those who have been hit hardest by the mortgage crisis.

Knowing of your views is very helpful to me. I will keep them in mind as the Senate continues to debate the President's economic plan.

Thanks again for getting in touch. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you in the future.

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator