Statement Tells Congress, “Don’t Write President Bush A $700B Blank Check”, Hundreds of Events To Be Held on Thursday Calling For Conditions (click here to read text of letter)
WASHINGTON – Major progressive, labor and consumer rights leaders joined forces today to demand important corrections to the Bush administration’s financial rescue proposal despite warnings from the administration’s top economists who got us into this mess.
The groups, representing more than 20 million Americans, sent a letter to members of Congress today urging them to require basic conditions before agreeing to any financial bailout request. The groups also announced that hundreds of events will be held across the country on Thursday to demand conditions on the bailout.
With a groundswell of opposition forming around the Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout request, Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage said Congress must not write President Bush a blank check for $700 billion without conditions.
“The financial crisis won’t go away on its own and doing nothing is not an option. Neither is writing a blank check for $700 billion to the same folks who got us into this mess, especially without a clear system of oversight and accountability.” said Borosage. “This is common sense. If American taxpayers are asked to bail out the financial industry, at the very least, we deserve to know how our hard-earned money will be spent.”
Representatives from top progressive and labor groups-- including the Campaign for America’s Future, AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME, AFT, NEA, ACORN, Alliance for Justice, Center for American Progress and Center for Community Change -- met at an emergency closed-door meeting yesterday to develop a statement of principles for bailing the American economy out of its financial woes.
The statement urges Congress to insist on public oversight and transparency, taxpayer protections and equity, regulations to ensure this doesn’t happen again, major public investments to support the economy, increased accountability for executives and directors and aid for homeowners who were misled by predatory lenders.
More than 35 leaders signed the statement, including Borosage, AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, SEIU president Andy Stern, AFSCME president Gerald McEntee, United Steelworkers president Leo Gerard, ACORN president Maude Hurd, Center for American Progress president John Podesta, Center for Community Change president Deepak Bhargava and USAction president William McNary.