TOPEKA - Veteran Senator Pat Roberts, in Washington waiting for tonight's vote on the market rescue bill, told listeners of 580's "On the Other Hand" that the bill, as written now, won't get the job done. He called it a "bad bill" that needs to be improved, then passed when it's ready.
Roberts also told 13's Melissa Brunner by phone from Washington, that the measure will pass the enormous debt of the bailout on to our children and grandchildren. Calling the Federal Government "a huge money moving machine with a heck of a handling charge," Roberts says the bill would start by infusing money to cover bad "toxic loans" that should not have been included in the bill. Senators plan to take a tally tonight, and Roberts does expect at least 51 votes, and passage of the bill. His colleague, Senator Sam Brownback, has not indicated how he'll vote tonight.
Roberts expressed his displeasure with what he called "bribes" to encourage Senators to vote "yes." (He later said "bribes" was too strong a word.) But those include family tax credits and emergency assistance.. measures that have already been approved.. which were tacked onto the bailout bill to sweeten it.
The veteran legislator said he is also not pleased that the bailout bill includes tax credits for any foreign corporations doing business in the United States. So, he explained, China could conceivably receive money pumped out in the rescue. Roberts also explained that the $700 billion dollar figure was reached by Treasury Secretary, when it's actually written in as $250 billion to start, with another $150 billion covered in the second step. No third step figure has been agreed on.