Luis Gutierrez is one of the livelier members of the House of Representatives and the Democrat from Illinois was in true form on the House floor Wednesday defending the financial regulatory reform package against persistent Republican critiques.
The GOP claims that the House bill will create a "bailout fund" for systemically important financial institutions. Gutierrez, a member of House leadership, pointed out that the bill does not, in fact, contain such a fund.
Gutierrez quipped that he was raised speaking Spanish at home, which made him unable to read the bill itself. But he made up for it, he added.
"I've had the bill thoroughly examined by those who do speak the English language and have only spoken the English language all their life, and they cannot find the bailout fund in the bill," Gutierrez said.
What the bill does do, he explained, is create a fund that major firms must pay into. If banks get into trouble, the fund is used to take them over, break them up and sell off the parts. If such a fund was socialist, Gutierrez said, then so is Geico. But unlike Geico, he said, drivers who crash the economy don't get their bank repaired and returned to them under the Democratic plan.
"What they won't tell you is unlike everybody in this room who has to go and take out an insurance policy to drive a car, they want Wall Street and Goldman Sachs to be able to drive our economy into the ground without paying a cent of insurance in case they act recklessly. And all we're saying as Democrats is: 'It's simple. If you wanna do business in America and you threaten the economic stability of our country, then you gotta pay into an insurance fund.' But lemme tell you. It's not the kind of insurance fund where you get into an accident and they take your car and they fix it and they kind of give it back to you new. No no. In our insurance fund, you know what happens? We chop up your car into pieces and sell it and then we pay back the fund with the pieces. That's our fund. Read the bill. It's a funeral fund. You guys love to talk about the death and death and death when it came to health care. Why don't you talk about our death panels now?"
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