KLTV 7 News speaks to Gohmert and Hensarling about today's bailout vote - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


KLTV 7 News speaks to Gohmert and Hensarling about today's bailout vote

Two East Texas congressman say the government went too far today. We've been telling you all week about Congressmen Louie Gohmert and Jeb Hensarling's opposition to the economic bailout bill.

This morning they, along with Congressman Ralph Hall, voted no on the house floor, saying the bill is leading our country in the wrong direction. They did say improvements were made from Monday's failed version. But they felt there were some additions made by the Senate, so called 'pork', that is unnecessary and inappropriate. KLTV 7's Molly Reuter spoke with both Gohmert and Hensarling this afternoon immediately following the vote on the House floor.

Disappointed, defeated and upset, Congressman Louie Gohmert and Jeb Hensarling left the house floor this afternoon with a sense of regret.

"I believe this is a sad day for America for the institution itself, for the government itself," said Gohmert.

"Unfortunately, our alternative proposals were not accepted, and again I hope as time goes by the legislation works, although I fear it won't," said Hensarling.

House conservatives worked all week to try and take the power out of Secretary of Treasurer Henry Paulson's hands.

But the fear of an economic collapse, Gohmert says, was too strong.

"The hope is that this will instill enough confidence. The people should have had enough confidence. The people should have had confidence from Secretary Paulson and the president, but instead they chose to scare everyone and that scare froze things that didn't need to be frozen," said Gohmert.

But both Congressman Gohmert and Hensarling say improvements have been made to the bailout bill. Things like greater taxpayer protection and better oversight and accountability on Wall Street. But that's not all that was added to the new law.

"Then you had a whole bunch of pork that was added onto that. Everybody getting their little issue, you know what can they add is the question that might make you change your vote," said Gohmert.  

Gohmert is talking about such tax breaks as $2 million for wooden arrow manufacturers, $100 million for car racing track owners, and $478 million for film and TV producers.

"That was entirely inappropriate," said Gohmert.

"Let's face it, people are persuaded to vote based on items put in a bill, so I'm sorry that happened, but having been up here for six years, I know it happens on a day to day basis, and I continue to fight it as do most conservatives," said Hensarling.

It may not be the bill they want, but both Gohmert and Hensarling say they hope it will give a boost to our economy.

"A lot of people were ecstatic, and I hope that ecstasy will carry over in the economy because folks the banks in East Texas are good. If people don't panic, they are in great shape you know they are the most stable part in our economy," said Gohmert. "All I can say is I'm heartbroken, and I don't share the ecstasy."

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says he'll begin to use his new authority quickly to help the financial markets.

Gohmert and Hensarling will be back in Texas this weekend.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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