Congress puts American economy in peril

    It is with deep disappointment and a heavy heart to have witnessed Congress’ failure to address the grave financial challenges we face as a nation. With an election looming, my colleagues in Congress thought first and foremost of their own jobs at the expense of the jobs of those they serve.

    I could not and did not accept last week’s proposal by the Bush administration – an administration that totally mishandled this situation. But instead of pointing fingers and standing idly by – as would have been the politically expedient thing to do – I worked to secure concrete protections for the taxpayer.

    Today’s vote was about stopping the Wall Street crisis from creating a banking crisis in our communities. The Bush administration’s proposal was unacceptable, and the American people demanded an alternative solution be brought to the table.

    I joined my colleagues in putting forth an alternative economic rescue proposal and secured these taxpayer-protections in the final bipartisan agreement. I fought to make sure that once these troubled institutions start making profits, the taxpayers benefit first and foremost.

    I fought to make sure Wall Street executives don’t profit personally as a result of their irresponsible decisions. I wrote the provision that ensures that Wall Street shares in the cost of their own recovery. 
    I supported this bill in order to stabilize our economy and to preserve American jobs. It is about Main Street – that Wall Street’s crisis doesn’t become Main Street’s crisis. It is about protecting working families’ access to credit – so students can secure college loans, farmers can buy feed, seniors can secure their retirement and businesses can pay their employees.

    I am outraged that we find ourselves in this situation, and I have grave concerns for the state of our economy. In light of the political expediency of my colleagues and the horrendous failures of the Bush administration, we will have to roll up our sleeves and go back to the drawing board to enact a meaningful solution to our financial crisis.

    U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) represents Wisconsin’s First Congressional District.

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