Weather Forecast


Feingold nay, Kohl yea on Senate bailout vote

Wisconsin's U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold of Middleton, was one of just nine Democrats to vote against the financial industry rescue plan the Senate passed last night.

"It fails to offset the cost of the plan, leaving taxpayers to bear the burden of serious lapses of judgment by private financial institutions, their regulators, and the enablers in Washington who paved the way for this catastrophe by removing the safeguards that had protected consumers and the economy since the great depression," said Feingold in a released statement.

U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., of Menomonee Falls, voted yes, as the sweetened-up package was sent to the House 74-to-25.

Feingold said the plan was quote, "deeply flawed, and taxpayers deserve a plan that puts their concerns ahead of those that got us into this mess."

"The bailout legislation also fails to reform the flawed regulatory structure that permitted this crisis to arise in the first place. And it doesn't do enough to address the root cause of the credit market collapse, namely the housing crisis," Feingold added.

But Kohl said voting no was not acceptable, because the risk of doing nothing is too great to the average person.

"We cannot allow this crisis to worsen and bring down the country's economy and ordinary Americans whose jobs, lifesavings, homes, college funds and retirements are on the line," said Kohl.

"As we move forward, we must put stronger regulations and oversight in place so we avoid a similar crisis in the future," he added.

Like earlier plans, this one allocates $700 billion to buy faulty assets from financial houses, with the goal of boosting the sluggish credit market.

Senate leaders added goodies to get House members to support the package - including tax breaks for businesses, more disaster aid, money for rural schools, and more federal insurance on bank deposits.

The House will vote on it Friday.

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., of Menomonee Falls, who helped reject an earlier plan on Monday, said the new one was not good enough to change his mind. He still says it's wrongly makes taxpayers assume the risk of bad loans.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., of Fond du Lac, and U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, D-Wis., of Appleton, also voted no on Monday. They have not commented on the new bill.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., of La Crosse, says the tax measures would add to the national debt, because they're not off-set by other cuts. However, he added that he still understands the need for the rescue.