Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bilirakis, Brown-Waite vote against retooled bailout plan

Despite a wave of converts and sweeteners, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis still couldn't swallow voting for the $700-billion economic bailout plan Friday.

Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, again voted against the bill as the U.S. House reversed itself and approved it.

In a written statement, Bilirakis said he wanted more "targeted" assistance for homeowners and better scrutiny of financial companies.

"I could not ask my constituents to pay for this corporate bailout because it fails to fundamentally address the problems that caused the current credit crisis," Bilirakis said, calling the bill "a rush to judgment."

Bilirakis, who represents coastal Pasco County, wasn't alone. U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, who represents Hernando County and the rest of Pasco, also voted against the bill (HR 1424) again.

"It still bails out foreign banks. It still raises the debt limit a trillion dollars," Brown-Waite said on the House floor on Friday. "That is what people believe is business as usual in Washington."

The House had defeated the measure Monday. But lawmakers remade the bill, adding tax breaks and other provisions to win over critics, leading to approval by the Senate and President Bush.

The Treasury Department will be able to buy $700-billion worth of troubled mortgage-related assets from finance companies in a bid to stop the hemorrhaging economy.

The extras included an extension of the law that allows residents of states without income taxes, such as Florida, to deduct a portion of the state sales tax from their federal income tax bills, as well as a fix to the tax code that will save millions of middle-class Americans from having to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The Bush administration has contended that much of the money Congress allocates for the bailout will be repaid if it works. But Brown-Waite noted in an interview that "nowhere in there does it say that money will be used to pay down the debt."

While Brown-Waite said she supported extending the tax breaks, she said they should have come in separate bills. She also blasted the core of the legislation. She called the proposal "extortion" on Monday.

Democrat John Russell of Dade City, her opponent in the Nov. 4 election, also opposed the bill because he said it was flawed.

Russell has proposed stronger enforcement against fraud, greater government roles in finance companies that participate in the plan, and a fee on stock trades to offset the financial burden on taxpayers.

"She offers criticism and complaint but offers no solution," he said.

Times staff writer Wes Allison contributed to this report. David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@sptimes.com or (800) 333-7505, ext. 6232.

Bilirakis, Brown-Waite vote against retooled bailout plan 10/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 6, 2008 1:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company

    College

    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.
  2. Lightning prospects mantra: You never know when NHL chance will appear

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Brett Howden said he watched closely last season as former junior teammate Brayden Point made an remarkable rise to a Lightning regular in his first year pro.

    Lightning prospect Mikhail Sergachev skates during the Lightning Development Camp Wednesday at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  3. McConnell trying to revise the Senate health care bill by Friday

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is aiming to send a revised version of his health care bill to the Congressional Budget Office as soon as Friday as he continues to push for a vote before Congress' August recess.

    Protesters rally against the Senate Republican health care bill Wednesday on the east front of the Capitol building.
  4. Police raise likely death toll in London high-rise blaze

    World

    LONDON — The number of people killed or presumed dead in the London high-rise fire has inched up to 80, but the final death toll may not be known for months, British police said at a grim briefing Wednesday.

  5. Rick Baker gives himself a "B" in 1st debate against Rick Kriseman

    Blogs

    Rick Baker gave himself a “B” in his first debate against Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    Rick Baker chats with supporters at a fundraiser at St. Petersburg Yacht Club Wednesday evening