I’m Kay Bailey Hutchison, United States Senator from Texas.
For more than a year, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have been working to craft legislation that would prevent another catastrophic financial crisis like we saw in the fall of 2008.
Republicans are working to ensure the bill would forbid any future bailouts of Wall Street banks. The idea that a financial institution is ‘Too Big To Fail’ perverts free market capitalism. It suggests that large firms can privatize their profits, yet socialize their risks. Or, put simply, these companies take their profits in good times – but when things go bad – they turn to the government to bail them out. This must end. The American people should not be forced to pay the risky gambling debts of the large financial institutions.
The Democrats pushed a bill through the Senate Banking Committee that does not stop future bailouts. Republicans have been attacked for speaking out against it and asking for bipartisan negotiations before allowing the bill to be debated on the Senate floor. But, to be clear, we will stand firm against a partisan bill that exposes ordinary taxpayers to future bailouts or favors big companies over community banks across America. The tactics the Democratic leadership used to pass the health care bill must not be repeated.
Thankfully, negotiations in the Senate continue. It's time for the name-calling to stop. Getting our economy back on track is too important to allow political games to sidetrack these efforts. Both parties agree that any financial regulation should do one essential thing: no company should be considered ‘too big to fail’. And never again should taxpayers be expected to bail out those who made risky financial bets with other peoples’ money.
Unfortunately, the White House is attacking Republican leaders to score political points. Americans are troubled by the way Democrats forced their health care bill on the public that overwhelmingly opposed it. The Democrats are trying to do it again. But, they underestimate Americans’ understanding.
The fact is, a growing number of experts on both sides of the ideological spectrum are coming to see what Republicans have been saying all along: the Financial Regulation Bill contains serious flaws. We believe this bill can be fixed, with a sincere bipartisan solution. And, as the President said in his visit to Wall Street on Thursday, we are still working on a bipartisan bill "drawing on the ideas of Democrats and Republicans." That’s a far cry from last week’s comments.
It’s time for Democrats to put away the political playbook and simply say publicly what they’re suggesting privately: that this bill still needs some work, that both parties should come together to do that work on behalf of the American people. We can prevent future bailouts. We can address the root causes of the economic downturn. But, first, we need to put politics aside.
Thank you for your time.
Video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ8fXVpGHsA.