Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MY Congressman still has principles

I just got this email response from Congressman and Doctor Michael Burgess, my rep in the corridors of power.

Dear Mr. -----:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R.1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act that recently passed the US House of Representatives. I appreciate hearing from you on this very important matter.

As you may know, the Secretary of Treasury, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Congressional leadership, President Bush, and various financial experts, asked Congress for decisive action to prevent dangerous harm to our nation's economy. The situation presented to Congress included failures in our credit markets, extreme bank vulnerability, and a threatened economic depression. In response, the United States Senate passed H.R. 1424 on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 by a 75-24 vote. H.R. 1424 then passed the House of Representatives on Friday, October 03, 2008 by a 263-171 vote. The nearly $800 billion package was rushed through the House of Representatives in a little over a week and did not adequately protect tax payers from Wall Street liability or address the causes of this market failure, for those reasons, I voted against the emergency rescue package on Monday, September 29, and again on Friday, October 3.

In my view, legislative time would have been better spent shoring up systems designed to protect the American middle class. This bill did not do enough to protect Oak Street and Elm Street despite the endless references to the impact on Wall Street and Main Street. H.R. 1424 gives the Department of Treasury the authority to borrow money from foreign banks to appease the foreign banks that lost money investing in our housing market, this is wrong. With this vote, Congress gave up the ability to control these funds and acted without appropriate oversight to protect the taxpayer. We responded to questionable investing with questionable spending of tax payer funds. Wall Street is made up of a well paid, sophisticated group of institutional investors who are well aware of the risks and benefits of investing. Wall Street must repay the good faith provided by tax payers by picking up the tab that resulted from unsound investment vehicles tied to the housing market.

Although I disagreed with the emergency financial package, I am dedicated to working towards results. Congress has a responsibility to fix the cause and hold those responsible for this situation accountable for their actions. We have a duty to protect American taxpayers from more debt, higher taxes, and untold risk due to market failures or our legislative response. Ultimately, the government entities responsible for regulatory authority over financial markets never exercised the proper oversight over complex 21st century financial instruments. The Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in need of systemic changes to the way they do business and our federal programs need improved flexibility to better avoid risk and respond to crisis.

While Congress debated the large spending package, federal agencies took the opportunity to embrace steps recommended by Members of Congress. I am grateful the Securities Exchange Commission acted to end short selling stock without actually possessing it; and modifications to ensure "fair value accounting" within banking institutions. I also defend the important steps that are being made at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; your money is safer today because of their continued response. I am encouraged by these steps that protect American assets from financial risk, and I look forward to recommending more changes in the future.

Congress was given a small window of time to consider this very expensive program and as a result, it will carry long-term financial implications that must continue to receive scrutiny. This government action was not right, it was heavy handed, and we were right to question the government's ability to intervene and the tax payer's right to object to payment. As we move forward, I will continue to keep you informed of my progress and I hope you will continue to support my efforts to protect your financial assets, and your freedom from government intervention. "Too big to fail" is a phrase our government should use only once and only when looking in the mirror.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please feel free to visit my website ( or contact me with any future concerns.


Michael C. Burgess, M.D.
Member of Congress


Daniel said...

I love the part where he says “Congress has a responsibility to fix the cause and hold those responsible for this situation accountable for their actions.” You guys are the culprits!! You guys REQUIRED the banks to make idiotic loans to people that couldn’t possibly pay them back. Are you going to fix congress? Are you going to hold yourselves responsible?

Sorry if it sounded like I ripped on your congressman. I don’t know squat about him and so am not in a position to do so. I meant congress in general.

BCBCFriend said...

Representative Burgess is one of the good guys. Those who elected him should be commended for their good choice. Now if we could ever get people in a few other states I know of to exercise that same sort of wisdom ...

This post belonged here, not in the other one - sorry! said...

Privitize the loaning business and bad loans dissapear (or those who make them don't last long).

My opinion.

KnightWing said...

Captain America's shield. Nice!

That's right, it's a political blog and I made a comment about a comic book-related image.

Palm boy said...

Daniel, Dr. Burgess is definitely one of the good guys. He's in the minority, but I like'em.

Shadows, I agree.

Thanks Aaron.

Daniel said...

Is Dr. Burgess anything like Dr. Ron Paul?

Palm boy said...

In that he supports smaller government, yes.

But not on monetary or foriegn policy.