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Houston Area Lawmakers Weigh In on the Bailout

Houston-area lawmakers played a big role in the House re-vote on a federal bail-out plan today. After voting against the package on Monday, Democrat Sheila Jackson-Lee changed that vote Friday. Sara Sciammacco has more from Washington.


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Jackson-Lee wanted the new bill to do more to help homeowners who are facing foreclosures. Still she voted in favor of it.

“I tried to put more structure into the bill by giving ten billion dollar in amendments.  Ten billion dollars just mortgages for people who want to restructure.  We talked about bankruptcy language that should have been put in that I offered.  We talked about making it stronger and how you restructure the mortgages rather than encouraging restructure, requiring them to do it.”

The new bill did include a number of tax credits and increases federal insurance for bank deposits. Republican Ted Poe opposed it, saying the latest version is full of pork.

“The bill got worse, because it cost the taxpayers more.  The bill now is like eight hundred and ten billion dollars. There’s a 49 billion dollar tax increase in this bill.  It contains little piglets of pork to get people to vote for it.”

Others opposed to the bill, like Republican Jeb Hensarling, argued it rewards people who made poor financial decisions.

“I fear that it undermines the ethic of personal responsibility. I feel that it still rewards bad behavior and punishes good, but my greatest fear madam speaker is that it fundamentally changes the role of the government.”

Democrat Al Green was the only other area lawmaker to vote in favor of the bill.

From Capitol News Connection, Sara Sciammacco KUHF-Houston Public Radio.

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