Friday, October 21, 2011

"Thanks, George!" Love, Obama

In case you missed it, I wrote a post about a month ago debunking the myth that George LeMieux was a "conservative" during his few months in the Senate:
Sunshine State Sarah | Reality check on LeMieux's "conservative" voting record 
Well, looks like I have an addendum to that post. Check out this press release from the Adam Hasner campaign earlier this doesn't sound so conservative when Obama is thanking LeMieux for breaking ranks with Republicans, does it?

Geithner Defending Obama-LeMieux Jobs Bill
Will Senator LeMieux?

This morning, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will testify in front of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee in regards to the effectiveness of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, also known as "mini-TARP."

In a defining move, Senator LeMieux crossed Party lines and voted for President Obama's $30 billion Small Business Jobs Act, a bill he co-authored. His vote not only helped the bill become law, but led to President Obama thanking him from the White House for his support.

If Treasury Secretary Geithner is willing to defend the Obama administration policies he helped to enact, shouldn't Senator LeMieux be willing to do the same?

"Senator LeMieux might like to pretend the 16 months he spent in Washington are the definition of conservative principles in action, but his voting record tells another story," said Hasner campaign spokesman Doug Mayer. "He not only broke Party ranks and sided with 57 Democrats, but he co-authored this obviously failed government bailout program. With the national debt nearing $15 trillion, the only question is whether or not Senator LeMieux will accept responsibility for potentially wasting an additional $30 billion of American taxpayer money."


Senator LeMieux Supported, Across Party Lines, President Obama's Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. (H.R. 5297, Roll Call Vote #237: Passed 61-38: R 2-38; D 57-0, 9/16/10)

Senator LeMieux Was Co-Author Of Amendment That Created Failed Bailout Program. "'People in my constituency can't get credit, and this will get money out to small businesses, who are the engine of job creation for this country,' said Republican Sen. George LeMieux of Florida, who co-authored the amendment that created the lending program." (Pallavi Gogoi, "Much Reluctance About $30 Billion Lending Program," Associated Press, 9/25/10)

Senator LeMieux Was One Of Two Republicans Who Joined With 57 Democrats In Voting For The Bill. "Overcoming months of gridlock, the Senate approved a small-business bill Thursday that handed President Barack Obama an election-year victory even as it illustrated just how difficult it has become for lawmakers to agree on the best way to help the sluggish economy and create jobs. The measure passed 61-38, with just two Republicans crossing party lines to support the bill...Republican Sens. George LeMieux of Florida and George Voinovich of Ohio, neither of whom is seeking re-election, joined 57 Democrats and two independents to pass the bill." (Lisa Mascaro, "Senate Approves Obama's Small-Business Aid Bill," Chicago Tribune, 9/17/2010)

Small Business Jobs Act Of 2010 Was Also Known As mini-TARP Due To Bank Bailouts Contained In The Bill. "A New $30 Billion Small Business Lending Fund: The bill would establish a new $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund which - by providing capital to small banks with incentives to increase small business lending - could support several multiples of that amount in new credit." ( Website, "President Obama Signs Small Business Jobs Act - Learn What's In It," Accessed 10/17/11) 

Senator LeMieux's Bailout Amendment Was Quickly Branded "mini-TARP" By His Own Republican Colleagues. "The bill enjoyed bipartisan support at the outset, but the addition of the $30 billion small-business-lending fund to give credit-starved firms access to capital created insurmountable partisan divisions. Republicans quickly opposed the lending fund as a 'mini-TARP,' reminding voters of the unpopular Troubled Assets Relief Program that was the cornerstone of the 2008 federal bank bailout." (Lisa Mascaro, "Senate Finally Approves Obama's Small-Business Aid Measure," The Seattle Times, 9/16/10)  

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley Spoke Out Against LeMieux's Bailout Amendment. "'Since the debate on this bill started, the Democratic leadership has been more interested in scoring political points than actually providing relief to small business, starting with a controversial lending provision to create a taxpayer-funded $30 billion bailout fund, or a mini-TARP,' Grassley said. 'It's just like the big TARP program that's been badly mismanaged, and even Elizabeth Warren, the head of the TARP oversight panel, expressed skepticism that the fund would be effective in increasing small business lending and that it would even encourage "banks to make loans to borrowers who are not creditworthy." The taxpayers have had enough of that kind of thing from Washington.'" (Press Release, "Extend Job-Creating Tax Credit, No To Another Government Spending Program," Senator Chuck Grassley, 9/16/10)  

Senator LeMieux's mini-TARP Was Criticized As "Crony Capitalism At Its Worst." "Why this perverse outcome? The answer is that TARP and this new mini-TARP are bleak examples of crony capitalism at its worst - an unholy alliance of big government and big business. Taxpayer money goes to bankers who made hundreds of billions of dollars in bad loans, which depleted their capital. The taxpayers' investments recapitalize these failing banks but do nothing to remove the bad loans from the bank balance sheets. The troubled assets remain in the system, which could lead to a lost decade, just as a similar strategy did in Japan during the 1990s." (Rebel Cole, "Bank Bailout's Wasted Cash," Washington Times, 9/22/10) 

Many Small Banks Were Reluctant To Accept Additional Government Bailouts. "President Barack Obama's $30 billion small community business lending program faces one big challenge: Many of the community banks and businesses it's supposed to help don't want it...interviews with seven community bankers, as well as small business owners, show a reluctance to participate." (Pallavi Gogoi, "Much Reluctance About $30 Billion Lending Program," Associated Press, 9/25/10)

  • "President Obama is crowing about his small-business bill, signed into law on Monday. 'It was critical that we cut taxes and made more loans available to entrepreneurs,' he said. Trouble is, small businesses and community banks don't want Obama's $30 billion program. That's right. They don't want it." (Larry Kudlow, "TARP again?" The Daily Caller, 9/29/10)

Accepting Federal Bailouts Would Make Government Stockholders In Banks. "But Obama thinks his $30 billion mini-TARP will do the trick. Most folks may not know it, but as part of this plan, the Treasury would buy stock in the community banks that qualify, with those banks having to pay an annual dividend of 5 percent to the government. If those banks make loans to small businesses, the dividend payment might drop to 4 percent. But if they don't use the money for loans, the dividend payment becomes a penalty at 7 percent. That amounts to Treasury control of the small banks that play this silly game." (Larry Kudlow, "TARP Again?" The Daily Caller, 9/29/10)

  • Local Banks Didn't Want Federal Government As Partner. "'We have taken a strategic decision not to have our primary regulator, the government, also be a partner in our bank,' said William Chase Jr., CEO of Triumph Bank in Memphis." (Pallavi Gogoi, "Much Reluctance About $30 Billion Lending Program," Associated Press, 9/25/10)

Conservative Organizations Like FreedomWorks Had Little Faith In Bill's Ability To Increase Lending. "In the end, mini-TARP will not spur lending to small businesses. Responsible banks and small businesses refuse to take part in a misguided program that will only increase their compliance costs." (Julie Borowski, "Responsible Banks and Small Businesses Reject Mini-TARP," FreedomWorks, 9/29/10)

  • "It is believed that mini-TARP will be rejected by a majority of small banks that do not want to be burdened by excessive government regulation. In fact, the Congressional Oversight Panel found that 690 small banks that were bailed out by the original $700 billion TARP funds are actually worse off." (Julie Borowski, "Responsible Banks and Small Businesses Reject Mini-TARP," FreedomWorks, 9/29/10)

Copyright (C) 2011 Adam Hasner for US Senate All rights reserved.

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