Thursday, October 09, 2008

Why Kline Voted "Yes" on the Rescue Bill 

Monday I attended a session with MN�s Second Congressional District Representative, John Kline and a local Republican Party political group; Wednesday, I participated in a town hall conference call with John Kline. As most of you know, Mr. Kline voted for the �bailout� last week. His Washington and Minnesota offices received thousands of phone calls. This post is being written to clarify, as I see it, why Congressman Kline made the decision he made. Disclosure: I am the volunteer Chair of Minnesota's Second Congressional District Republican's.

The financial situation was getting bad: the Democrats blocking of Bush, McCain and Greenspan attempts to get the financial records of Fannie and Freddie under control resulted in assets at banks and investment houses being devalued. When assets are devalued, loaning institutions cannot loan as much money resulting in a credit shortage (freeze). This in turn prevents organizations from borrowing money short term to meet payroll and inventory, etc. The (freeze) was the �hidden� fiasco that was looming on the horizon. This credit crunch had to be addressed. Hence, the $700 billion dollar it will only will be paid in installments of $250, $100, and $350 based on conditions. Without this infusion of dollars, Main Street would have been hit, hard. Responsible people would have been denied funds, jobs lost, etc.

Here are some key points:
1 � Since Republicans are in the minority, the Democrats control which bills come to the floor. Net, we don�t get much to the floor � Democrat Speaker Pelosi literally prevents our ideas from seeing the light of day.
2 � What pundits said was pork is not pork � it is a series of tax breaks that for one reason or another need to be renewed every year or a tax break for an error on a previous bill.
3 � Key demands of Democrats (A slush fund for ACORN; a requirement that UNION representatives be in board rooms to determine executive compensation; a requirement that lawyers and judges determine how much of a loan should be repaid � all of these are terrible!) were eliminated from the bill.
3 � The $700 billion is tiered at three levels and is not a bailout; distributed funds will be recouped when the assets are sold. Maybe not all will be paid back but a significant portion will be recovered.
4 � One could argue that either a �yea� or a �nay� vote was principled. Some votes were political. John voted on principle to reduce what he believed was a severe and protracted recession (or worse) balanced against a much lower risk that the bill might not work.

The easy thing to do would have been to vote against the bill. John Kline could have returned to Minnesota this week and pounded his chest out on the campaign trail telling Minnesotans that this is Wall Street�s problem, not ours. But as the last two weeks have indicated, this is everyone�s problem. And John Kline spent endless hours in Washington meeting with everyone involved so he could make the best decision he could on behalf of the Minnesotans he serves. He voted with his conscience, folks. And for six years, that is one of the reasons we have supported him. He is a man of integrity and strength, and he made a courageous vote last week because he believed it was the best thing to do.

In conclusion, while we can argue the right or not-right of it, it�s now done. Our best solution is to send as many Republicans as we can back to DC. In addition, we have to get McCain elected as president so the Democrats don�t try a �renegotiation� in February of 2009. Minnesota is in play for McCain. Let�s make those phone calls and get out OUR vote.

More detail is at Look True North (