Area lawmakers showed leadership in rescue vote
San Antonio Express-News
October 7, 2008
The legislation marked major government intervention in the free market, added significantly to the national debt, angered many voters and, in its final form, included an abhorent amount of pork that should have been removed.
But the rescue legislation was essential to the effort to right the nation's economy and stimulate the credit markets needed to keep everyday business operating and preserve jobs. The extraordinary circumstances justified government intervention in a bid to avoid or lessen recession.
The jobs and investments of average Americans were at stake.
And despite rampant finger pointing and badly-timed attempts to lay the blame on political foes, the legislation was passed through bipartisan efforts.
Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, bit the bullet and stood tall for the Lone Star State with their support for the bill.
And San Antonio Reps. Charlie Gonzalez, a Democrat, and Lamar Smith, a Republican, showed courage in voting for both versions of the rescue bill that reached the House floor.
Rep. Henry Ceullar, D-Laredo, whose district includes part of San Antonio, was against the preferable initial version of the legislation, but made the right call on the second rescue bill.
Voting for the bill was an unpleasant necessity, and these lawmakers deserve credit for making the right decision in the middle of a political storm.
San Antonio Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, a Democrat facing an aggressive challenge from Repuvblcian Lyle Larson, bent with the political wind, voting against the bill twice. Larson opposed the measure, too.
The bill will not be a silver bullet but was a crucial part of the fight to get the economy back on track.
When lawmakers get back to Washington next year, ending rampant special-interest spending and enforcing fiscal discipline must be at the top of the congressional agenda.