Abercrombie, Hirono both vote no on bailout
Hawaii's two representatives in the U.S. House, Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, both Democrats, each voted against the bailout package today because they said it did not do enough to protect taxpayers and to help mortgage holders.
"Even though the bill we voted on today was very different from the bailout plan pushed by the Bush Administration, it still relied on public funds to save Wall Street from its own greed and bad decisions, with very little in the way of accountability or oversight," Abercrombie said in a statement.
"We were given virtually no time for debate, discussion or consultation with our constituents — the people who would have picked up the tab for this fiscal frenzy — about the single most consequential policy and spending decision in decades," he said.
He said that of the nearly 1,500 people who called, faxed or e-mailed his offices in Honolulu and Washington, only 11 people supported the bailout plan.
"My constituents and I reached the same conclusion: we need to put the mortgage holders and taxpayers first."
Hirono also said she voted against the bill "because it did not go far enough to protect taxpayers and assist homeowners facing foreclosure.
"Clearly, we have to get back to work to come up with legislation that will avert a credit freeze, stabilize the financial markets, and more directly help homeowners facing foreclosure, which is the underlying problem," she said.
"This crisis was brought on by inadequate regulatory oversight or no oversight at all over these complicated mortgage-backed securities," she said. "We need to fast track regulatory reform to prevent this kind of crisis from recurring.
She also said the focus needs to be on stimulating the economy immediately and creating jobs in Hawaii.