As the House met this morning to vote on the $700 billion bailout package for financial institutions, U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) took to the floor to rail against the proposal.
Garrett, who sits on the House Financial Services Committee, gave an impassioned speech this morning on the House floor, casting blame on the Bush Administration, Democratic leadership and The Federal Reserve and accusing them of getting the nation into the mortgage mess in the first place.
“America, you should be outraged about what Washington is about to do, because Washington is not listening to you. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, our offices have been receiving phone calls 10-1, 100-1 against this proposal, but Washington is not listening,” he said.
Garrett, the most conservative Congressman from the Garden State, has been one of the leading critics of the bailout proposal since the plan was announced.
Garrett said that he recognizes there is a serious problem and wants to propose other solutions, but he said that “the stakes are too high to turn back to those who have brought us these problems in the first place.”
“We should not go to the administration that has brought this problem to us with their actions in the past. We should not go to The Federal Reserve, with their roller-coaster interest rates… The bubbles have burst from the Fed and their false promises from Bear Sterns and AIG and GSEs,” said Garrett. “Nor should we turn to the Democrat leadership who have signed onto this bill. That Democrat leadership who have given us (The Community Reinvestment Act) in the past that have led to this meltdown in the sub-prime market. Nor should we turn to the Democrat leadership who have blocked reform in the past to the (government sponsored enterprises) and unbelievably say they’ll block reform in the future to the GSEs.”
Dennis Shulman, the Democrat who’s challenging Garrett for the seat, differed on the causes of the financial crisis, pinning much of the blame on Garrett's ideology.
"This debate and crisis are the direct result of George Bush and Scott Garrett consistently battling against all efforts to reasonably regulate greedy special interests, especially the corrupt predatory lenders like Countrywide Financial that fund Garrett's campaigns and run his congressional office,” said Shulman Campaign Manager Jeff Hauser. “For Garrett to attempt to duck responsibility for the mess he created while taxpayers pay Countrywide Financial's former lobbyist to run his office is the height of hypocrisy, and the voters in the 5th District recognize that they need change in Washington. Dennis Shulman guarantees that his office, unlike corrupt politician Scott Garrett's, will be run on behalf of NJ taxpayers rather than the special interests, and painfully flawed bills like this will never again be required."