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Heller splits from Nevada delegation on bailout bill
by The Associated Press
Oct 04, 2008 | 505 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said he voted against the historic $700 billion rescue plan for the financial industry because he thinks it could saddle taxpayers with more debt.

Ignoring pleas from Republican leaders and White House officials, Heller was the lone member of Nevada’s congressional delegation to vote against the measure.

Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and John Ensign, R-Nev., and Reps. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Jon Porter, R-Nev., voted in favor of it.

“The core of this legislation is still flawed and puts Nevada’s taxpayers on the hook to pay for a massive bailout of Wall Street,” Heller told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

“There are solutions to this problem that do not place current taxpayers and future generations at risk or push our country further into debt,” he added.

Heller, locked in a competitive race against Democrat Jill Derby, pledged to press for greater oversight of Wall Street.

Heller, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, was among 108 Republicans and 63 Democrats in the House who voted against the bill Friday. He also voted against an earlier version of the measure Monday.

Reid, D-Nev., said action was needed to stabilize the tottering economy and prevent a broader meltdown. The measure’s failure earlier in the week sent the stock market plummeting.

“It will help instill confidence in and stablilize our economy, and will protect Main Street from the crisis on Wall Street,” he said.

Berkley said she decided to drop her opposition to the bill and vote “yes” because it contained provisions that will help Nevadans, including tax relief for 130,000 of the state’s middle-class taxpayers.

“The economic crisis that has hit Las Vegas and communities nationwide did not appear overnight, and it will not be fixed in a day, even with the passage of this legislation,” Berkley said.

Heller said provisions important to Nevada, such as an extension of tax credits for renewable energy, helped improve the measure. But he said other alternatives should have been considered.
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