Castor defends vote against Wall Street bailout
On Friday, President Bush signed an $800 billion Wall Street bailout bill shortly after it was passed in the House of Representatives. Of the nine House Democrats from Florida, Tampa-area Rep. Kathy Castor was the only one to vote against it. WMNF spoke with Castor this morning and asked her why she voted against the bailout bill.
âThe Wall Street bailout bill did not get to the fundamental root cause of the economic downturn.
"This area, the Tampa Bay area, has been in an economic slump for over a year and it was disheartening to hear that President Bush just woke up to this fact two weeks ago.
"But on the bailout bill, it does not protect taxpayers and after holding many foreclosure workshops throughout the Tampa Bay area, what we need to attack the root cause of the problem is to help people stay in their homes. That part was not contained in the bill and I could not support it."
WMNF: âSomething else needs to be done. Can you give us an example of what kind of legislation might be coming next?â
âWell, we need to tackle it from many different points. First, we need to help homeowners stay in their homes. And Iâm not talking about bailing out folks that have been irresponsible, weâre talking about just families if itâs their principal homesteaded residence, if they need a little breathing room, to get them in touch with the lender work out a new loan, a new payment plan.
"Second we have to have a new jobs program. We passed in the House new jobs for infrastructure building. Here in Florida that would mean highways, bridges, rail lines, water infrastructure projects and Iâm hoping the Senate is going to take that up and the president.
"It was very disconcerting to me that the jobs element and the homeowners element was not contained in a $700 billion bailout package. So weâve got a lot of work to do.
A lot of this is going to happen after we elect a new president. I hope itâs Barack Obama because we need a change in direction in this country.â
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