Show Us the Legislation

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As news spreads that a consensus Wall Street bailout plan is being finalized, and leaders negotiate between proposals submitted from the Treasury Department, Senator Dodd, Representative Barney Frank, and others, two separate conversations are taking place. One is public, as the nation struggles to evaluate the urgency of the economic situation, and to understand the best course of action.  The other, however, is not public, as the compromises and deal making — the real stuff of urgent policy-making — are held in the dark.

The Sunlight Foundation is calling on Congress to publish the proposed bailout legislation as soon as possible, to give constituents and lawmakers themselves as much time as possible to examine the specifics of the proposal before it’s voted on.  We will post the draft legislation to PublicMarkup.org as soon as possible, to give citizens a chance to weigh in on the proposal’s specifics.

Congress faces urgent pressure from the Administration and from constituents to act. Regardless of the course of action Congress ultimately chooses, this is a decision that must be made in full public view. If citizens don’t have a chance to evaluate the legislation, how can Congress possibly represent their constituents’ needs?

The need for sunlight is especially required for urgent or emergency legislation. All too often, Congress praises transparency as a democratic value, but violates it in practice. Any lack of transparency in consideration of this legislation would be especially ironic since lawmakers have blamed the current crisis on financial malfeasance that was hidden from public view.

We have called the relevant congressional committees and have asked for copies of the new consensus legislation.  As soon we get it, we’ll be posting the text of the legislation online at PublicMarkup.org.

Now more than ever,  Congress must represent the needs of all Americans, and to give everyone – citizens and lawmakers alike — a chance to participate actively in the legislative process.

Before the bailout proposal is considered by lawmakers, it must undergo an even more important test: evaluation and assessment by the public.

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  • Dem02020

    As we look at the proposed trillion dollar appropriation out of the U.S. Treasury, to WALL STREET (and they insult our intelligence when they “talking point” us that the money isn’t going to WALL STREET: yes it is! Every single U.S. Treasury check that shall be issued to buy these “troubled assets”, will be made payable to a WALL STREET financial service comany or investment fund… how stupid do they think we are!)

    As we look at this proposal, I’m drawn to what I think is the single most important consideration in this matter, which is actually nothing you will find in the text of the Bill: and that is the NEED for this bailout, or more specifically, the supposed CONSEQUENCES we would suffer, were this extraordinary sum of Public Money not siphoned off to these private WALL STREET companies.

    I hear nothing but vague undefined non-specific doomsday scenarios being described by the proponents of this bailout, and I consider myself to have a fair imagination, and yet I cannot see the mechanics of how these disasterous consequences are going to hit anybody other than those WALL STREET firms, and the people who invested in them, and who work for them.

    Specifically, I hear how “jobs will be lost” and “savings will be in jeopardy”

    Rather than try and attempt a broad an abstract analysis of how (or how not) such things can happen, I ask you:

    How do you imagine the failure of a company like Merrill Lynch or Lehman or AIG, to cost you your job, and toss you out on the street?

    Truly, can you see the cause and effect relationship, the mechanics of such a thing?

    I cannot! And I do not consider myself stupid!

    All of the WALL STREET firms so far, and all of their troubles so far, have not made me once to think I will lose my job because of them! I can’t see how my boss would give me a pink slip and say “sorry, but another WALL STREET financial company has gone under, or another WALL STREET investemnt fund is insolvent: I have to let you go because of that”…

    Can you honestly say you can see how that will happen to you, can you explain the cause and effect, the mechanics, of such a thing?

    Because I cannot!

    And the same is true of my savings, and my house too: I absolutely fail to see the nuts and bolts mechanics of how those things will be lost, if these various WALL STREET firms are forced into Chapter 11, or otherwise absorbed into bigger and more solvent companies (as Merrill was) for pennies (30 cents or so) on their former stock dollar… which is and was a loss to Merrill stockholders and officers and employees, but not to me!

    Why would I have wanted to bailout out Merrill? Why would I want to bailout other WALL STREET companies just like them, in the same trouble they were in?

    This is bullchit… these people are trying to convince us that there are CONSEQUENCES here that will jeopardize our jobs and savings, yet they do not describe how this is so, and try as I might, I cannot imagine the mechanics of it happening!

    And again, what I spoke of there, is nothing that can be found or will be answered, by reading the proposed bailout Bill.

    That needs to be (I think) the focus of our opposition to the Bush Paulson WALL STREET scheme to steal a trillion dollars of our money (and leave us with higher taxes across the board, double digit inflation, and reduced federal spending)…

    The focus needs to be for us to insist on a real and convincing explanation of exactly how we will lose our jobs and our savings, if WALL STREET firms like Merrill Lynch aren’t bailed out by us…

    Because Merrill Lynch wasn’t bailed out, and neither their troubles nor their Bank of America solution to those troubles, ever once made me concerned for my job or my savings: and so why would I feel the same way about the remaining WALL STREET firms with their “troubled assets”, just because the former CEO of Goldman Sachs has effectively scared the stupid wits out of the absolute worst spectacle of a political opposition the American People have ever had to endure, the present idiot Democratic Congressional leadership?

    Explain the CONSEQUENCES that jeopardize my job and savings!

    Because otherwise, I think that bullchit is just a fear-mongering tactic to steal a trillion dollars of American taxpayer money from the U.S. Treasury!

  • Lynn Clark

    American taxpayers need to ask for two lists from each Senator and Representative that will be voting on this bill:

    1) by bank institute/corporation in this bailout (and any future bailout) of any stock holdings or equity

    2) Vote for or against the bill

    This list should be provided prior to the November 4 election. As taxpaying Americans, our ONLY power is the vote. Anyone who voted for this bill and anyone who had a personal vested interest in the form of stock that did not “recuse” themselves from the vote should be voted out of office and prosecuted if they did NOT recuse themselves.

  • Mary

    Absolutely right! Barney Franks, Schumer, and Dodd should be investigated. They have received thousands from the same orgs. they want to give our money to. Watching them is like giving the fox control over the hen house. If you think for one minute they and Congress and especially this president care about the citizens of this country, you best think again. Everyone who intends to vote this year best take a hard look at those you they elected to represent them and who they really represent and the thousand upon thousand of dollars given to their campaign and how they have obligated themselves to these donors (big business, special interest groups)and perhaps they will see that you cannot keep electing these so-called representatives of the American citizens and expect real “change” in Washington. Surely there are candidates running out there who really care about this country (citizens) and will bring confidence back. As for this Congress and for this administration, if there approval rating is in the basement, why put them back to continue the same failed policies and spending your money with abandon.

  • I have heard Congress repeatedly say there is no clear alternative to the Bailout plan of Wallstreet . I feel we should not bailout wallstreet. They should be held accountable, removed from their positions, their assets seized , and then put in jail on a number of charges.

    The alternative plan that congress is not talking about is this:

    http://www.nesara.us
    (N.E.S.A.R.A.- stands for National Economic Security And Reformation Act )

    NESARA initiates PEACE IMMEDIATELY and

    1.  Restores Constitutional Law in America as of NESARA’s public announcement.

    2.  Removes US administration officials and all members of the US Congress from their positions due to their continuous unconstitutional actions.  Bush, Cheney, Cabinet members, and all members of Congress are immediately removed from office by NESARA’s public announcement; specific law enforcement personnel shall physically remove Bush government officials from their offices. These removals allow a fresh start at the national level.  Using the Constitutional Line of Succession, NESARA installs Constitutionally acceptable NESARA President and Vice President Designates until new federal elections can take place within six months after NESARA’s announcement.

    3.  Because NESARA abolishes unconstitutional states of emergency, NESARA’s public announcement declares “peace”.  US military in Iraq and Afghanistan are immediately recalled to the USA.

    4.  As partial remedy for 90 years of government and banking fraud, NESARA requires zeroing out of credit card balances and bank debt relief be given to Americans.

    5.  Initiates the US Treasury Bank System with new U.S. Treasury currency backed by gold. The Federal Reserve is abolished; Federal Reserve facilities and most personnel are absorbed into the US Treasury Bank System.

    6.  Abolishes Income Taxes in US and creates a national sales tax on new, non-essential items as revenue for government.  Essential items such as food and medicine, and used items, are exempt from the sales tax. 
    The “National Economic Security And Reformation Act” – NESARA – provides major benefits to Americans including:  

    Forgives credit card, mortgage, and other bank debt due to illegal banking and government activities
    Abolishes income tax
    Abolishes IRS; creates flat rate non-essential “new items only” sales tax revenue for government
    Increases benefits to senior citizens
    Returns Constitutional Law
    Establishes new Presidential and Congressional elections within 120 days after NESARA’s announcement
    Monitors elections and prevents illegal election activities of special interest groups
    Creates new US Treasury currency, “rainbow currency,” backed by gold, silver, and platinum precious metals
    Returns Constitutional Law to all our courts and legal matters.
    Initiates new U.S. Treasury Bank System in alignment with Constitutional Law
    Eliminates the Federal Reserve System
    Restores financial privacy
    Retrains all judges and attorneys in Constitutional Law
    Ceases all aggressive, US government military actions worldwide
    Establishes peace throughout the world
    Initiates first phase of worldwide prosperity distribution of vast wealth which has been accumulating for many decades
    Releases enormous sums of money for humanitarian purposes
    Enables the release of new technologies such as alternative energy devices
    History Behind the National Economic Security And Reformation Act (NESARA)

    NESARA’s reformations are the main tools for implementing important US Supreme Court rulings made in January 1993 on several cases filed by farmers living in US Midwest and Mountain states areas against banks, specific government officials, certain judges, and others. Certain US Generals and Admirals were supportive of, and one General was co-plaintiff in, the Farmers’ Cases that went to the US Supreme Court. You may recall in the 1970’s and 1980’s there were news reports and documentaries about thousands of family farmers losing their farms to foreclosure. Willie Nelson has been doing Farm Aid concerts for years to help these farmers.

    In the 1980’s some of the farmers investigated why there were so many bank foreclosures on their farms and discovered certain banks were fraudulently foreclosing on their farms. When these farmers turned to government officials for assistance and filed lawsuits against these banks, they learned certain government officials and judges were working in collusion with the banks. The farmers also learned that certain aspects of the current Federal Reserve banking system were unconstitutional and pursued their lawsuits through the Federal District Court in Denver and other locations. Some of the farmers involved in the lawsuits were harassed by the IRS and in turn investigated the IRS involvement with the bankers. After years of lawsuits, several of the farmers’ lawsuits reached the US Supreme Court including Baskerville and Foster v. Credit Bank of Wichita, Federal Land Bank, and First Interstate Bank of Fort Collins from the Denver Federal District Court. For simplicity, I call these cases at the US Supreme Court the “Farmers’ Cases”.

    In early 1993, the nine US Supreme Court judges ruled seven to two in favor of the farmers on all major issues including that the Federal Reserve Banking system was unconstitutional, that the US has been operating outside the Constitution since March 1933, that major reformations of government and our banking system are required, and that financial redress and remedies must be provided for financial losses due to bank fraud suffered by generations of Americans. The farmers involved certain very powerful US military Generals and Admirals in their cases. These Generals and Admirals made it clear to the US Supreme Court judges that they knew the farmers’ cases were righteous and watched in the courtroom as the US Supreme Court Judges heard the cases. The presence of the Generals and Admirals is why the majority of the judges felt they had to rule properly and in favor of the farmers. Because of the extraordinary nature of the necessary reformations, the Court sealed all court records and put all people directly involved under Non Disclosure agreements (gag orders) until the reformations are publicly and officially announced.

    The Court had a duty to design and implement reformations to correct the injustices; therefore, the Court recruited experts in Constitutional Law, banking, economics, and monetary systems to work in task force groups to develop the needed reformations. During the two years these expert groups developed the reformations, irrefutable proof was provided to the US Supreme Court Judges that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, the income tax amendment, had not been properly ratified. The Judges had no choice but to include abolishing income taxes in the reformations development process. It was also found that there had been a definite pattern of federal administrations and Congress ignoring the Constitution in laws passed since 1933. FDR took the US out of Constitutional Law when he declared a national banking emergency and amended the Trading with the Enemy Act in March 1933.

    Constitutional Law experts working on government reformations determined that to end the pattern of blatant disregard for the Constitution, it would be necessary to require the sitting US administration and US Congress to resign when Constitutional Law is restored. Following completion of the development of the reformations, the Court appointed certain experts and others to a “committee” which has authority to manage the process of announcing and implementing the reformations.

    Once the reformations were developed, the Court made half-hearted efforts to implement the reformations through an “Accords” agreement process with the Clinton administration. During that time, very little progress was made to implement the reformations. However quantities of the new US Treasury currency backed by gold were printed and shipped to certain banks in the US where the currency has sat in bank vaults for years awaiting the announcement of the reformations. When NESARA is announced, many more shipments of the new Treasury currency will be shipped to all banks in the US under guard by US military units.

    During the years of the Accords process, the Court approved a “claims against the government process” (also known as Farm Claims or Bank Claims) which was meant to provide specific financial redress to Americans, however, various groups and individuals interfered with the claims process.

    Finally in 1998, the powerful US military Generals and Admirals consulted with constitutional law experts regarding the lack of progress in getting the much-needed reformations implemented. The Generals, Admirals, and constitutional law experts all knew the US Supreme Court Judges were purposely stalling the reformations process. It was decided that the only other way to accomplish the crucial reformations was to compile all the needed reformations into a law and have the law passed by Congress. The National Economic Security And Reformation Act (NESARA) containing required reformations was submitted to Congress in 1999 where it sat with little action for almost a year. Late one evening in March 2000, a written quorum call was hand-delivered by Delta Force and Navy SEALs to only members of the US Senate and the US House who were sponsors and co-sponsors of NESARA. The members were immediately accompanied by the Delta Force and Navy SEALs to their respective voting chambers where they passed the National Economic Security And Reformation Act.

    The National Economic Security And Reformation Act provides the following, some of which will take place immediately after the official announcement of NESARA which is to be televised live from Washington, DC:

    1. Restores Constitutional Law in the USA.

    2. Requires the current US administration to resign their positions to allow a fresh start at the national level and installs Constitutionally acceptable NESARA President and Vice President Designates until new elections can take place within six months. Bush and Cheney will be resigning and the Cabinet and Appointees by the President, and all members of Congress must resign within 72 hours of NESARA’s announcement.

    3. NESARA US President Designate declares “peace” because NESARA abolishes unconstitutional states of emergency.

    4. As partial remedy for 100 years of government and banking fraud, credit card balances are zeroed out and bank debt relief is given to Americans for bank loans including mortgages, car loans, education loans, business loans, and other bank debt. Banks will be paid $9000 per each credit card account with a balance; these funds were raised in special revenue generating activities in Europe. NESARA requires other bank debts be made self-liquidating loans and US banks are instructed to use new high revenue generating processes to pay off Americans’ bank loans.

    5. Initiates the US Treasury Bank System with new U.S. Treasury currency backed by precious metals. The Federal Reserve is abolished and Federal Reserve facilities and most personnel are absorbed into the Treasury Bank System. We will be exchanging our Federal Reserve notes, which are not backed by gold, for the US Treasury currency which is backed by gold. Many bank personnel have already been trained on NESARA and the new currency is already in some banks’ vaults.

    6. Abolishes Income Taxes in US and creates a national sales tax on new, non-essential items as revenue for government. Essential items such as food and medicine, and used items are exempt from the sales tax.

    The NESARA law requires that a minimum of one time each year, there must be an effort made to announce NESARA. Three current US Supreme Court judges control the committee in charge of NESARA’s announcement. The Judges have used their overall authority to secretly sabotage NESARA’s announcement; thus each year NESARA has been blocked from being announced.

    This is why NESARA has not been announced: the people with the overall authority to order NESARA’s announcement are, in fact, blocking NESARA.

    Due to the gag order on NESARA, it is difficult for true NESARA supporters to learn exactly what has happened to stop NESARA from being announced.

    Investigating details with hundreds of people has yielded exactly what needs to be done to resolve key issues and bring NESARA to announcement. After learning what the “problems” related to NESARA are, I’ve researched deeply to find the “solutions” and those people who can carry out the solutions and bring NESARA to announcement.

    In many ways, our country is facing the worst crisis of its history:

    More Americans are unemployed, drowning in debt, and living in poverty than anytime since World War II
    Our government irresponsibly races to assume more debt on top of highest historical debts
    Our military lose their lives in battles for greedy corporations’ gains
    Our elections revolve around lies, bribery, and betrayals.

    We do not hear “truth” in our media; the media is controlled by opponents of Americans and America’s Constitutional Law.

  • Shane S

    I am pleased to see that the Frank and Dodd plan was given a pause. That plan reeks of socialism. I am American!!! I believe in the free market’s ability to weed out corruption and stupidity. Short sighted enterprises deserve to fail. I want a free market solution.

    Congress has failed us on many levels. It appears to me that it is time for partisan politics to leave the the stage and corruption to be revealed.

    Corrupt oversight is worse than no oversight at all.

  • Dem02020

    You bet, if there was ever EVER a legislative matter that required complete and immediate disclosure and transparency, this was it.

    I can’t think of any reason whatsoever to hide a single detail in this matter from public view, or attempt to rush any part of it past the attention of the public or the press.

    It involves nothing to do with National Security or Intelligence or even law enforcement (unless it will include new regulations of the banking and finance industries, and still that’s the kind of stuff that there’s no legitimate reason to hide it from or sneak it past the American People’s attention).

    This trillion dollar bailout of a sector of private industry, could by all accounts wind up increasing taxes across the board, for all income brackets… it could cause double digit inflation (to suddenly print that much money, or even issue bonds in such a large and sudden amount, could easily devalue our currency and cause double digit inflation, for a number of years)… and it will almost certainly cripple the Federal Budget for years to come, and erode if not erase much of our next administration’s discretionary spending… all of that is OUR BUSINESS, as all of the money is OUR MONEY, and all of the fallout and price-tag for this bailout, will be OUR BURDEN to bear, for years to come.

    If there was ever EVER a legislative matter that required complete and absolute transparency, this was it… as about the only reason I can think of that the Congressional leadership would want to hide any of this matter from us, or rush any of it past our attention, is because it might contain something in it that would indicate a conflict of interest, between those who write the bailout legislation, and those who are getting this money on WALL STREET.

    And we’re going to find out anyway, if that’s the case: because the Internet Wire has made for a new age in lightning quick communication, universal in reach, 24/7… we’ll find out anyway, and there will be accountability… so don’t even go there… don’t even try it.

  • catherine deanni

    I can’t believe that the people who got us into this mess is trying to push a bill thru to get the American people to pay for it. I think Dodd & Frank should be investigated on what role they played in this mess.

  • Actually, there is plenty of time and necessity for a public discussion and explanation of exactly how these investment banks collapsed so rapidly, and why tax payers should in fact go along with this bail out.

    I hardly see the need for rushing a decision that will cost – if the last figures published are accurate – the average tax payer over 2k dollars.

    Furthermore, the utter hypocricy of this administration must be addressed. Bailing out citizens at large who over extended themselves to purchase homes is forbidden and immoral, but bailing out wall street is an absolute divine necessity?

    At the very least they could apologize. Don’t consider this partisian in nature, I’d expect the same humility and respect from any flavor of ideological adherent.