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Senate Proceeding on Jul 22nd, 2010 :: 5:02:35 to 5:33:50
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Olympia Snowe

5:02:26 to 5:02:46( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: unemployment benefits because we have a very high unemployment rate of 9.5%, with eight million people who have lost their jobs, more than 15 million are either unemployed or underemployed. we have not seen the kind of economic growth that will produce the jobs that the american people deserve and to create the kind of security that

Olympia Snowe

5:02:35 to 5:33:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Olympia Snowe

Olympia Snowe

5:02:47 to 5:03:09( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: they deserve as well. so from that standpoint, i thought it was important to extend those unemployment benefits. i also think it's important to do everything we can for small businesses, that as the chair of the small business committee, senator landrieu indicated, the job generators in our america, and frankly i would have hoped that we could have considered this legislation long before now.

Olympia Snowe

5:03:10 to 5:03:31( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: it's certainly long overdue. we're in july and i have been urging from the outset of this year in january that we should address this most profound issue wh it comes to creating jobs, that we clearly have to be concerned about the well-being of small businesses. so the legislation before the senate has a number of good provions that i think will go

Olympia Snowe

5:03:32 to 5:03:54( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: a long ways in creating incentives and helping and buttressing this key component of america's economy. i regret, however, that we're in a position where we have not been able to reach an agreement on allowing the minority to offer amendments, which to me is confounding and perplexing as well as disappointing. after all, i know the majority

Olympia Snowe

5:03:55 to 5:04:15( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: rules, but certainly the traditions of the senate should accommodate mirity rights as well. and that should mean on the foremost issue facing this country today, and that is, of course, our economy and jobs that would allow the minority to offer a few amendments. that's all we're asking for is a few amendments. i mean, after all, this issue has been languis last six months.

Olympia Snowe

5:04:16 to 5:04:37( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: it should have taken the highest priority in the agenda back in january, as i indicated, as i have been urging because it's that important to the american people and i think that's reflected in the -- you know, the historical low approval ratings of congress because we're not addressing the key issues facing america today, and that's how we're goingo turn this economy around and create jobs for the american pple.

Olympia Snowe

5:04:38 to 5:04:58( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: and so here we are today in a situation, a deadlock, an impasse because we're not allowed on the minority side to offer a few amendments. you know, i have looked back on the calendar this year. we had 78 days that we weren't either in session or voting. here we could have spent all that time considering amendments for the key issue confronting america.

Olympia Snowe

5:04:59 to 5:05:19( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: and, in fact, over the last two weeks since this bill has been pending before the senate, not one amendment has been offered, mr. president. not one amendment has been offered or allowed to be offered to the small business bill, so we have wasted all this time when, in fact, we could have been consiring amendments. last nht on the unemployment bill, extending the unemployment benefits, we were able to vote

Olympia Snowe

5:05:20 to 5:05:40( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: on six different amendments so we had six votes last night on issues and the process worked well. that's the way it should work here in the united states senate where we're supposed to accommodate, you know, a variety of positions and touild consensus on the key issues facing america. i know today we're lacking

Olympia Snowe

5:05:41 to 5:06:01( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: patience, lacking patience when it comes to governing and legislating and reviewing the various issues and worng with people with whom we disagree. that's regrettable and the american people understand what's happening here in washington these days where it's an all or nothing proposition. but i would hope that we could turn the corner on this issue above all else because it does matter to the american people.

Olympia Snowe

5:06:02 to 5:06:22( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: it mters to people what's happening on main street. certainly that's true in my state of maine as it's true across the country. it's no wonder, you know, more than 70% of the american people think the country is going the wrong direction when it comes to the economy. understandably so because they go down on their main streets and they see what's happening. they see businesses closing.

Olympia Snowe

5:06:23 to 5:06:43( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the anxiety that permeates not only the main streets but communities and households all across america, because of the lack of job security, the financial security, the personal security, all of which i think has created i think a picture of anxiety and i think desperation on the part of so many,

Olympia Snowe

5:06:44 to 5:07:04( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: wondering where the next job will come from. if they lose their jobs or wondering where they will get a job having lost a job. so that's what it's all about, so i can't understand why we couldn't come together in the united states senate, consistent with the traditions of the senate, which is to consider a variety of ideas across the political aisle, build a consensus in support.

Olympia Snowe

5:07:05 to 5:07:25( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the more ideas, the better. it will make the legislation, i think, certainly much iroved because you have a -- you know, a variety of ideas that are important, and certainly when it comes to improving our economic status in america. it's disconcerting when you know that the federal reserve has adjusted their growth rates for

Olympia Snowe

5:07:26 to 5:07:47( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the economy. we've seen that, lowering them because of, you know, what they anticipate for the future in terms of economic growth, in terms of unemployment, in terms of the lack of investments that are being made by companies today, either on hiring or capital equipment. all combitions i think has created, you know, i think a

Olympia Snowe

5:07:48 to 5:08:09( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: much more pessimistic picture for the future in terms of our economy. then, of course, you have the uncertainty emanating from washington, from congress in terms of variety of policies, whether it's health care when you're talking about increased taxes or increased regulation, and as we saw with the tax extender bill, creating, having

Olympia Snowe

5:08:10 to 5:08:30( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: sub chapter s and increasing medicare payroll taxes and in fact apping it for the first time on retained earnings which is the greatest source of capital for small business investment, yet we want to tax that as well. so they are seeing all that uncertainty. people say well, you know, businesses aren't sitting on their cash. well, businesses won't sit on their cash if they think they're going to make money, and that's

Olympia Snowe

5:08:31 to 5:08:52( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the point. so they would invest. they would make the investments if they thought the economy was going in the right direction. but they have to be more conservative if they don't know exactly what's going to come out of washington in terms of policies that will cost more, add more to regulations. i've talked to numerous business people in my state, including bankers, and they all say the same tng. we just don't know what's going to come out of washington in

Olympia Snowe

5:08:53 to 5:09:13( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: terms of the types of policies that's going to add to the cost of business. i was talking to one individual who was just making adjustments and in charge of a big corporation in america, making adjustment of one facet, close to 1,000 regulations in the health care bill. he said one adjustment already has cost him $5 million. well, you multiply that and it

Olympia Snowe

5:09:14 to 5:09:36( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: grows exponentially. the point is it's a challenging picture for the private sector in terms of taking steps or taking the risky steps in investing in the future for their company because they want to make sure that they're making the right decisions, the prudent decisions to make money and not to lose it. and so that's where we come in

Olympia Snowe

5:09:37 to 5:09:57( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: in terms of, i think, creating center with respect to our policies, not adding more in terms of taxes and spending that adds another overlay of costs of doing business because they are going to be far more reluctant to take those steps that we think are necessary to turn this economy around. so it gets to the point here, mr. president, on the

Olympia Snowe

5:09:58 to 5:10:18( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: legislation that's pending and in particular an amendment that i know that's been offered by the chair of the committee, senator andrew from louisiana with respect to the lending facility. it is a provision that i have had a great deal of concern with respect to this -- this lending capacity that would be created

Olympia Snowe

5:10:19 to 5:10:39( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: that extended from the treasury to banks across this country. i know that the majority leader has taken this provision out in the underlying bill, and i certainly appreciate that because i do think it's important that this facility is not included in the overall legislation. first and foremost, it has not had a single hearing with respect to this issue, and in my

Olympia Snowe

5:10:40 to 5:11:01( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: view, it certainly does resurrect the controversial tarp program that we just terminated in the bill that passed last week here in the united states senate, in the overall congress and signed by the president, which is, of course, the financial regulatory reform bill. and it is definitely a facsimile of that approach and that

Olympia Snowe

5:11:02 to 5:11:22( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: program that, as we know, has created a great deal of concern. the lending fund was debated in the hou -- certainly on the house floor and the house financial services committee, significant concerns were raised about the program, similarities to tarp. in stark contrast to the small business committee's provisions in the substitute amendment

Olympia Snowe

5:11:23 to 5:11:43( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: we're now considering, many of these measures certainly are going to add, i think, a great deal of concern in terms of whether or n we should be extending more than $30 billion to banks across this country. i would hope that we would rely on the key provisions that are in the underlying legislation.

Olympia Snowe

5:11:44 to 5:12:04( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: for example, raising the 7-a guarantee rate from 80% to 90%, and increasing and also reducing certain lenders and borrowers' fees in the 783 and 504 loan program. i'm very pleased that those measures that were included in the stimulus plan that we passed last year resulted, as this

Olympia Snowe

5:12:05 to 5:12:26( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: chart national increase in s.b.a. lending since the recovery act's passage and a 236% increase in maine as well as across the country. so 90% nationwide and 236% in my state. i think it's a strong indication

Olympia Snowe

5:12:27 to 5:12:47( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: of the value of increasing the guarantee rate, which we have now done in the underlying legislation, because those provisions expired in may. so i would hope that that is certainly one way of extending e lending capacity of the federal government through existing models that have been proven to be effective and

Olympia Snowe

5:12:48 to 5:13:08( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: workable, and that is, of course, the 7-a guarantee program, and we have seen that as a result in june the s.b.a. has approved $647 billion in 7-a guarantee decrease from

Olympia Snowe

5:13:09 to 5:13:31( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: may's $1.9 billion. because we allowed those provisions to terminate that were included in the stimulus bill. so had we allowed them to extend, we would have seen continuity of lending to small businesses in this country. that's why i think that those measures are extremely effective, they have already demonstrated their efficiency and their workability across

Olympia Snowe

5:13:32 to 5:13:52( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: this country, and i think that that's what will work for small businesses if we were to increase those guarantee rates and reduce the lenders' and borrowers' fees. so that's why i am pleased that the majority leader included in his substitute a modified version of my amendment that provides $505 million in funding to reinstate the fee waivers and increase guarantees through the

Olympia Snowe

5:13:53 to 5:14:13( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: remainder of this year. the s.b.a. has estimated that the restatement of these provisions could leverag leverage $13.2 billion in s.b.a. lending. this is precisely the type of effect that we could have for the taxpayers that maximizes the efficiency and the return on the

Olympia Snowe

5:14:14 to 5:14:35( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: dollar rather than reincarnating the speculative nature of the tarp program. these appropriations coupled with the s.b.a. lending provisions in the substitute amendment will raise the maximum 7-a and the 504 loan limits from $2 million to $5 million, and the maximum microloan limit from $35,000 to $50,000 will

Olympia Snowe

5:14:36 to 5:14:56( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: play an invaluable role in providing affordable credit to small businesses across our nation. but obviously, when it comes to expanding access to capital, congress must work in tandem with the administration and with the appreciate department. let me begin b boy noting that i appreciate the hard work of individuals in the department of

Olympia Snowe

5:14:57 to 5:15:17( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: treasury to try to develop and spur small business lending. i understand how complicated it can be to device workable, strong initiatives, and the department certainly has intended to do so. unfortunately, i continue to have significant reservations with the lending fund, for several reasons. first, regardless of what the proponents will say about this lending program, it is essentially an extension of the

Olympia Snowe

5:15:18 to 5:15:39( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: tarp program known as the troubled assets relief program, which, as i said earlier, has regulatory legisla president signed into law just yesterday. but let's look at what some of the experts have to say on this particular issue.

Olympia Snowe

5:15:40 to 5:16:03( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: in a may 17, 2010 letter that mr. barofsky, who is a special inspector general of the tarp program, wrote to the members of the house of representatives, and i quote -- "in terms of its basic design, its participants, its application process, and perhaps its funding source from an oversight perspective, the small business lending fund would essentially be an

Olympia Snowe

5:16:08 to 5:16:28( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: extension of the tarp program. the treasury lending fund substantially resembles the tar program and i quote, "it is a bank-focused capital infusion program that is being contemplated despite little, if any, evidence that such programs increase lending." an extension of tarp and

Olympia Snowe

5:16:29 to 5:16:49( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: substantially resembles tarp. that's how the experts of all things tarp -- the inspector general and the bipartisan oversight panel -- characterize this program. so obviously, we' talking about the experts who are the watchdogs of the tarp program.

Olympia Snowe

5:16:50 to 5:17:10( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: and they say, regardless of how you want to describe this program, i is what it is. you know, it is an exact duplicate of the tarp program. that's what it is. in addition to characterizing the program as tarp, he we had 3

Olympia Snowe

5:17:11 to 5:17:32( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: democrats and 2 republicans on the panel that also laid out concer for the program. i would like to outline these for my completion as well. first, the panel explained that the treasury lending fund will and i quote, "be less relative if declining business sales play a larger role in lending contraction than banks' rejections of loan applications." what does that mean?

Olympia Snowe

5:17:33 to 5:17:53( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: well, it means that although lending contraction remains a significant concern shall the root cause of that contraction may primarily be a lack of demand, because borrowers aren't as interested in taking on debt until their sales increase, as opposed to banks' more unllg willingness to make loans that

Olympia Snowe

5:17:54 to 5:18:14( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: they otherwise should be making. as the nfib has long maintained, what small businesses need most are a reason to hire and making capital expenditures and borrow to support activities." second-degreely, according to the bipartisan congressional oversight fan l, the program

Olympia Snowe

5:18:15 to 5:18:35( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: will likely be branded with a tax stigma. third, additionally, the congressional oversight panel also concluded that the small business lending fund may reward banks that would increase their lending even in the absence of government support as the fund's structure is calculated in reference to 2009 lending levels which were low by historical standards.

Olympia Snowe

5:18:36 to 5:18:56( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: i know the proponents of the lending fund may try to disagree with that. mr. barofsky and the bipartisan congressional oversight panel's comments. but in doing so, they'll be arguing against the experts establish to oversee the starp program in the first place. moreover, it is not like we're talking about partisan entities here. the congressional oversight

Olympia Snowe

5:18:57 to 5:19:18( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: panel i comprised of three democrats and two republicans who collectively agreed to include these statements in their rorlt. report. there are other unintended consequences that may result from the treasury's small business lending fund which raises a red flag for meevment it is possible that instead of promoting quality leans, the proposal could encourage

Olympia Snowe

5:19:19 to 5:19:39( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: unnecessarily risky behavior by banks. the treasury department proposes to lend funds to banks at a 5% interest rate which then can be reduced to as low as 1% if the institutioin turn increases their small business lending. however, if the bank fails to increase their small business lending, the interest rate they would pay would rise to a more punitive rate of 7%.

Olympia Snowe

5:19:40 to 5:20:01( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: well, this could lead, mr. president, to an untenable situation where banks would make risky loans to avoid paying higher interest rates, a behavior known as moral hazard. now, some have argued that the banks will engage in risky behavior because they'll remain libel for the underlying debt. well, we know that certainly want the case with the mortgage

Olympia Snowe

5:20:02 to 5:20:22( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: crisis that got us into this economic mess in the first place. so the final analysis, the possibility that this program could lead to poor lending decisions, is something that in the long run will not help borrowers, lenders or our overall proponents of a lending fund highlight that several major banking associations support this initiative.

Olympia Snowe

5:20:23 to 5:20:44( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: that wouldn't be surprising. who wouldn't support receiving millions upon millions of dollars from the federal government at a 5% interest rate that could be reduced all the way to 1 well, i will in no way questioning the bankers' mow :15, i am point out that they're not strewing from the perspective of third parties t doesn't alleviate my concerns. that is the public's interest

Olympia Snowe

5:20:45 to 5:21:05( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: when it comes to than $30 billion of taxpayer fund. another key concern of mine is about the cost of the administration's lending fund. i'm very apprehensive about whether exong has taken into full crgts program's true cost to the taxpayers. the previous scores for the small business lending fund is

Olympia Snowe

5:21:06 to 5:21:27( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: convoluted to say the least. i say this because there are three different methodologies that the congressional budget office has discussed when scoring various versions of the nding fund. specifically, the federal credit reform act of 1990 estimates -- estimates cash-based estimates

Olympia Snowe

5:21:28 to 5:21:48( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: and fair value basis estimates. three different methodologies. in the house version that was reported by the house committ on financial services, the lending fund was scored by the congressional budget office is costing taxpayers $1.4 billion. that level is determined by using the federal credit reform act of 1990's scoring.

Olympia Snowe

5:21:49 to 5:22:09( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: that federal credit reform methodology is used when there is a discoursement of funds by the federal government-to-a nonfederal borrower under a contract that requires the repayment of such fund. in other words, the federal credit reform message discology used when scoring loans. after the score was released, the house modified the lending fund to eliminate a requirement

Olympia Snowe

5:22:10 to 5:22:30( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: that the funds be repaid. of course there's every intent that the funds will be repd and in earchts to make th certaining the dividend thrait banks pay rises to a punitive 9% after four and a half years. but there's no absolute requiremt, mr. president, to repay the loan. well, this change has two effects.

Olympia Snowe

5:22:31 to 5:22:52( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: first, it allows the banks to treat the money it receives as annvestment as opposed to a loan. and, therefore, to count the funds as tier-1 capital, the core measures of a bank's financial strength. second, it allowed congress to claim that these are not loans, although for all intents and purposes they are so that the

Olympia Snowe

5:22:53 to 5:23:15( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: bill can be scored under a more fair equitable-based cash estimate. once these adjustments were made, c.b.o. issued another score that examined the lending fund as revised. the lending fund provision that we are discussing today remains virtually identical for scoring purposes to how it was in the revised version that passed the house.

Olympia Snowe

5:23:16 to 5:23:36( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: that score is based on a cash-based estimate rather than the federal credit reform because the funds were no longer considered as loans. under a cash-based estimate, c.b.o. listed the official score for the lending fund as raising $1.1 billion over ten years. so this is the official score which has been touted by prones proponents of the lending--

Olympia Snowe

5:23:37 to 5:23:58( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: --by proponents of the lending fund. what they fail to mention is that the very same c.b.o. score states tt "the potential cost of the small business lending fund under the house legislation can b measured using procedures similar to those specified by the federal credit reform but adjusted for market risk as is specified by law for estimating

Olympia Snowe

5:23:59 to 5:24:19( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the cost of the tarp program." this was referring to a fair-value-based estimate. c.b.o. goes on to note that when measured in this manner the score could be a $6.2 billion loss. incidentally, to ensure accurate accounting, the legislation that cread the tarp program required that it be scored using t. a fair-value estimate.

Olympia Snowe

5:24:20 to 5:24:40( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: so in this case it would cost, if you were to use the se estimate, ads 6.2 billion loss as opposed to a $1.1 billion gain in revenues, as the pending amendment suggests. so putting this all together, we have a federal credit reform score which highlights that if

Olympia Snowe

5:24:41 to 5:25:01( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: these were treated as loans, which for all intents and purposes they are, this program would cost taxpayers around $1.4 billion. but because of a change to not technically or officially require that the funds be repaid, it is now scored under different methodologiestion a case basis as a $1.1 billion

Olympia Snowe

5:25:02 to 5:25:23( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: revenue raiser, which is what the underlying -- what the pending amendment does. moreover, c.b.o. says the program would score as costing taxpayers $6.2 billion. and what does c.b.o. state about which of the three scoring methods is more comprehensive?

Olympia Snowe

5:25:24 to 5:25:44( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: in its score it states, "estimates prepared on a fair-value basis include the cost of the risk that the government has assumed. as a result, they provide a more comprehensive measure of the cost of the financial commitments than estimates done on a federal credit reform act basis or on a cash basis." i ask the question, when i

Olympia Snowe

5:25:45 to 5:26:05( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: hear certain colleagues claim that this is a $1.1 billion revenue raiser, is that accurate? shouldn't we be concerned that this may not truly be the investment that they are claiming? and critically has all of this been taken into consideration when weighing the eect of this program on the federal budget? and when evaluating the efficacy

Olympia Snowe

5:26:06 to 5:26:27( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: of this program and utilizing if as an offset in the yowndz lying legislation? so i'm concerned, mr. president, with various aspects of this pending amendment that creates this for more than $3b in my conversations with treasury officials i stressed how critical it was to reach out to colleagues on both sides of the

Olympia Snowe

5:26:28 to 5:26:48( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: political aisle prior to having introduced this piece of legislation and before advancing and championing it here on the floor of the senate. to obtain inp on hugh to devise a -- on how to devise a lending fund in ways to stress it in ways i have raise unfortunately that did not

Olympia Snowe

5:26:49 to 5:27:09( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: happen and this of course produces the amendment that is pending here today. my conversatns also with treasury officials, i presented the impression it would be addressed through the senate bank committee. that was the other issue i raised. given the fact that this is a bank initiative, lending of more than $30 billion to commercial

Olympia Snowe

5:27:10 to 5:27:30( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: banks across this country, that clearly that the senate banking committee should have been involved in examining this sue, that this should he been thoroughly reviewed and vetted, and whatever objections existed on both sides of the ierl could be examined and hopefully resolved. we've been having an opportunity to discuss this issue in a way that could have alleviated, addressed these concerns.

Olympia Snowe

5:27:31 to 5:27:52( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: mr. president, let's not forget, this is a brand-new program. the nature and magnitude of which is more than $30 billion. it justifies a thorough evaluation and certainly those that had been raised by the congressional budget office and the variety of methodologies that can either produce ads 6.2

Olympia Snowe

5:27:53 to 5:28:13( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: billion loss or a $1.1 billion revenue increases. the point is here we're not using a true, accurate estimate of what this lending facility will ultimately cost the american taxpayers. if you wld use the similar methodology rption as they did in tarp, this is a tarp phak simple lioily in terms of a

Olympia Snowe

5:28:14 to 5:28:34( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: duplication and reflection of the tarp program, then clearly you have to use the same method of addressing how this legislation either is costing the taxpayers money or is raising revenues for the taxpayer. and it is clear, if you use the fair cash-based stirntle the fact is it would lose the taxpayers money because you have

Olympia Snowe

5:28:35 to 5:28:55( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: to take into account all the risks that would be inlved during the life of a loan. and that is totally excluded on the estimate and analysis of the method that was used in the pndzing amendment of i outline all of these concerns because i do think it is important for my colleagues to consider very carefully the implitions and

Olympia Snowe

5:28:56 to 5:29:19( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the ramifications of this lending facility. it is a new program. it is similar to tarp, and it is not just my saying so, as i said, it is the inspector general that oversees tarp, the congressional oversight panel that oversees

Olympia Snowe

5:29:20 to 5:29:40( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: similar requests. mr. president, it is a concern and again it repeats what the tax experts call an extension of tarp. they call this end willing fund an extension of tarp because it has all of the, i this, components of the tarp program. so i think we should be very circumspect and hesitant about

Olympia Snowe

5:29:41 to 5:30:01( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: utilizing a similar program at a time in which we have to minimize the expansive nature of the programs and government programs in the spending that occurs here in the united states senate in the overall congress and on the part of government, mr. president. i think it is important. now i've heard that, you know,

Olympia Snowe

5:30:02 to 5:30:23( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: in terms of the tarp program that money was not distributed to medium- and small-sized institutions. but according to the congressional oversight panel, by december 31, 2009, which was the deadline for treasury's capital purchases, 20% of all tarp funds did go to small- and

Olympia Snowe

5:30:24 to 5:30:44( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: medium-sized institutions. 98% were small- and medium-sized institutions. it isn't whether or not a bank is good and that's why we should loan this money. obviously there are excellent community banks and they did a terrific job. it is really a question as to whether or not this is good

Olympia Snowe

5:30:45 to 5:31:05( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: poli. i mean, that's the bottom line here. is this good policy? it raises a number of questions. it raises the specter that we're really recreating the tarp program in another manner, it's directed to different institutions. i think, mr. president, we have

Olympia Snowe

5:31:06 to 5:31:27( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: to be careful, cautious, and prudent at this time. is there another way to extend the lending capacity of the federal government? yes, through the small business lending programs which i indicated earlier and which the majority leader has included some of the provision that's i and -- that i and the chair has

Olympia Snowe

5:31:28 to 5:31:48( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: recommended that has demonstrat they have increased the fuel of lending across this country by more than 90%. in my state alone 236%. it has demonstrated its capacity to working. so why not use those plod thals we have adopted in the past -- models that we have adopted in

Olympia Snowe

5:31:49 to 5:32:09( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: the past an proven their effectiveness. i think that's what it's all about. how much can we do? well, we know we're limited in tems of what we have -- in terms of what we have as far as the deficit an national debt is -- and tional debt is concern. i think we have to be very prudent of how we extend taxpayers' dollars.

Olympia Snowe

5:32:10 to 5:32:31( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: i have a great deal of concern in terms of, one, not only extending the $30 billion, but the cost to the taxpayers, if you use an accurate measurement similar to what c.b.o. indicated. secondly, how that legislation works. because it creates a perverse incentive. it increases the interest rates to those banks who don't

Olympia Snowe

5:32:32 to 5:32:52( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: increase their small business lending, but decreases it for those who do. so you do encourage the pros spets of more -- prospects of moral hazard. the likelihood that poor, risky loans might be made because of the fact that their interest rates will be reduced as a result. i think that we have to be circumspect about that.

Olympia Snowe

5:32:53 to 5:33:13( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: i would hope that we would not accept this lending facility, mr. president, because i do believe that it does raise serious and significant concerns and that it is a duplicate of the tarp program and i think we need to be moving in a different direction in this country and because there are a number of

Olympia Snowe

5:33:14 to 5:33:36( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: issues that have been raised that cannot be addressed. and i would hope that weould rather build upon the underlying amendment and the substitute amendment to be offered by the majori leader, allow some some amendments on both sides of the political aisle so that we can strengthen the legislation that is before us with respect to

Olympia Snowe

5:33:37 to 5:33:50( Edit History Discussion )

Olympia Snowe: providing incentives and tax breaks, tax relief to small businesses that rightfully deserve those initiatives so that we can incent them to create jobs and to feel certain about their futures as well as this country's.

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