Nelson 'skeptical' of bailout package
Palm Beach Post
September 29, 2008
By MICHAEL C. BENDER
By MICHAEL C. BENDER
TALLAHASSEE — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said this morning that he is still weighing his vote on the potential $700 billion financial package that is scheduled for a vote in the House today and the Senate on Wednesday.
"Put me down as highly skeptical but willing to continue to try to work and improve the package," Nelson said. "This is no-foolin' time for America. We've got to get this right because the alternative could be devastation."
Nelson, a member of the Senate Budget and Commerce committees, criticized the package for failing to limit compensation for Wall Street CEOs, for not providing protection for homeowners facing foreclosure and for not limiting how much of the package can be spent on aid to foreign banks.
"I have an obligation to stand up for the American taxpayer and not let our monies go to bail out foreign banks," Nelson said.
But the Orlando Democrat said he wasn't ready to oppose the bailout for the struggling financial market.
"The biggest thing that we've got to measure - since it doesn't look like we're going to be able to amend this package - is whether or not, if we delay anymore, if the financial markets across the world and in America are going to go crashing," Nelson said.
"And that I simply cannot tell you today."
Nelson was in Tallahassee today campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
He was traveling across North Florida's Interstate 10 with former Gov.
Bob Graham, former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabis and former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges.
The four were in Baldwin, Lake City, Jasper, High Springs, Perry and Monticello on Sunday. Nelson was scheduled to return to Washington D.C. this morning while the three former governors traveled on to Quincy, Chipley and Panama City.
Nelson blamed the financial meltdown on the Bush administration, which he said was "asleep at the switch and let their buddies on Wall Street run wild."
"This ought to be excuse enough for everybody to understand we've got to have a change," he told about 100 people at the Tallahassee Senior Center.