Minn. congressional delegates question changes to bailoutby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Members of Congress from Minnesota say the $700 billion plan to rescue the U.S. economy is undergoing some big changes in Washington. But some aren't sure that their original doubts about the idea are getting addressed.
DFLer Collin Peterson represents Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, which covers northwestern Minnesota. He voted against the bailout package twice, and said he still thinks it's a bad idea.
"They're giving money to financial institutions that don't need it, then they're using that money to purchase other institutions, further consolidating," said Peterson. "People are worried they're going to pay executive bonuses and concerned about how they're going to use the money. The whole thing is questionable."
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar told Minnesota Public Radio that she thinks the changes are necessary. She said while the original plan focused on buying toxic debt, there were doubts even then about how much to pay for those debts and how well the plan would work.
"It's very important that this money, both past money and future money, is not going to be used by banks to horde cash or to increase compensation," said Klobuchar. "We have to keep the focus on lending, to make sure the money is used to keep families in their homes and continue lending money to small businesses and others to keep this economy going."
Klobuchar said she still supports the bailout in principle, but she thinks Congress needs to keep better tabs on the money, and must monitor what the Treasury Department does with it.
Minnesota's congressional delegation split on the package. Peterson and fellow Democrat Tim Walz joined Republican Michele Bachmann in opposing the measure.
The rest of Minnesota's delegation voted for the package last month.
- All Things Considered, 11/13/2008, 6:14 p.m.