Examining the Senate’s new bailout bill
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Scott Jagow: The Senate has passed an economic rescue package worth more than $800 billion. The House may vote on it tomorrow.
We continue our coverage of the financial crisis with Congressman Bill Pascrell, a Democrat from New Jersey. Congressman, you were saying you wish there was more regulation in this bill to prevent future problems. Are you going to push for changes to the Senate version?
Congressman Bill Pascrell: I don’t believe there will be any changes, because then it would have to go back to the Senate again. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m wishing — I would like some changes, I’m going to be fighting for some changes in caucus. Now, I know all of this could not have been done in this bill. This is a difficult vote for me to make. I’m up to the task, I’m reading as much as I possibly can. Will America be more at risk if I vote no? Will America be less at risk if I vote yes? That’s the thing I’m going to struggle it up at the time that I vote.
Jagow: Are Democrats going to wait until they have the votes to get this passed?
Pascrell: I don’t think it’ll come up unless they have the votes this time. Mr. Bainer, the leader on the other side who I have a great deal of respect for, wants us to believe that no taxpayer money is at risk here. The way the legislation is written, that is not true. The money that we’re going to be spending we think we’re going to be getting back because they’re going to sell these assets. Who’s going to determine the price? Which leads me to my second-nature problem: Who is going to administer this program? I’ve heard that this will be privatized beyond the Treasury Department. And what are we going to do, put our friends in charge here? Folks are going to have to decide tomorrow in the House of Representatives whether these are improvements or whether this is simply a little more icing on the cake.
Jagow: Right now, what’s your sense, what are the odds of getting this through the House tomorrow?
Pascrell: Oh, I think that it will pass.
Jagow: Congressman Bill Pascrell, Democrat from New Jersey. Thanks for joining us.
Pascrell: Thank you!
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