From U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick of Charlotte, of North Carolina's 9th House District:
The credit market crisis affects you, probably more than you can imagine. For that reason I spent several days last week talking with local business people – many I have known 20 to 30 years. Their businesses are solid. Yet their credit was frozen, causing them to say they would have to lay off employees. That could mean massive unemployment in our area. Mecklenburg County's debt service is also escalating, causing leaders there to have to make hard decisions.
A respected local economist who works with business people all over the country said, “I've never seen such fear in business people's eyes, except when I was in the World Trade Center on 9-11.”
A textile mill in Kings Mountain closed, citing unavailable credit. A local car dealer said that two-thirds of his prospective customers were denied loans despite excellent credit. A trusted local financial professional said, “We're seeing decades of history happening in weeks.”
Voting for a bill I hate was the hardest decision of my life, worse than agreeing to undergo chemotherapy and radiation when I had breast cancer, with no guarantee it would work. It was the same with that bill. That was a personal decision affecting only myself. A decision affecting 300+ million people is quite another matter.
Voting no the first time forced the Securities and Exchange Commission to change accounting rules so loans can be listed at fair value, not zero. FDIC insurance was raised from $100,000 to $250,000. That helps small businesses and individuals.
It's not a blank check. $250 billion to start will be monitored before additional funds are allocated. Loans the government will buy back have value: homes that can be sold and the money applied to the national debt.
I'm old enough to remember the effects of the Great Depression. If credit freezes up long term, commerce will grind to a halt. Deep recession – depression? I couldn't risk it.