Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn was among the conservative Republicans who bucked both parties’ leaders to kill the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 on Monday. She explained her reasoning to National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez.
Kathryn Jean Lopez: Monday morning on Bill Bennett’s radio show, you said you were leaning “no.” What solidified that no?
Marsha Blackburn: Hearing from my constituents in the district solidified the “no” vote. We had phone calls and e-mails by the thousands. They did not want a bill that would favor Wall Street over the taxpayer.
Lopez: Are you concerned by your vote you might have played a role in a pending market collapse?
Blackburn: The markets like certainty. We know that. We also know that the bill before us today did not solve the underlying problems. Some provisions that could have immediately addressed the liquidity issue, such as mark-to-market, uptick rule, increases in FDIC insurance could be done with immediate rule changes should be done.
Lopez: Are you worried you might have just helped hand the election to Obama?
Blackburn: I don’t think this is handing the election to Obama. A more solid solution, crafted this week, will restore confidence in the market and in Congress. I do think it is important to get this done right so that we preserve free markets for the future.
Lopez: Some on the Right are arguing “no” votes were irresponsible. Why do you think they’re wrong?
Blackburn: The responsible action is to pass the most effective legislation in as short a time frame as possible. The bill before us didn’t do that. It leveraged too many federal assets and too few Wall Street assets. It also ignored some market-oriented solutions that could be carried out immediately. Again, I’d look to options like mark-to-market reform, increases in FDIC insurance, etc.