After an amended credit restoration package bill was passed by the Senate on Wednesday, October 1st, it was brought back to the United States House of Represenatives for a concurring vote. Mike Thompson had voted against the package on Monday, September 29 [See Mike Thompson Votes Against Credit Restoration Package], but was one of many members of congress who switched their votes to Yes on Friday, October 3. You can read the entire bill at Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. A history and list of who voted how is at GovTrack H. R. 1424. Officially this was created by amending the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.
While letting the credit markets dry up for a week was not a good thing - a lot of people were laid off from work during that week of inaction in the House of Representatives - I think it is good that Mike changed his vote to Yes. I also agree that it was a difficult vote. The government should not need to buy toxic mortgage securities from big Wall Street banks. Yet given how the financial system is set up, with the Federal Reserve only able to pump credit into the economy through the top of the financial pyramid, this was the only way to muddle through the immediate crisis. As much as I would like to see the Wall Street bankers try living on unemployment compensation for a while, the harm to the ordinary workers of this country would have been catastrophic if this no rescue took place.
After the elections, with a new President and Congress made up of incumbents, it would be great if some real reform took place. How about caps on credit card interest rates and late penalties? How about Univesal Health Insurance? How about more and better jobs for American workers?
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Mike Thompson is the current elected member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 1st Congressional District.