Sen. John McCain says the Senate will have to act to prevent Fannie Mae from getting another billion-dollar bailout, especially since the mortgage giant recently awarded multimillion-dollar bonuses to several top executives. The Arizona Republican also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Tuesday the move to thwart the $7.8 billion bailout request has bipartisan support.
“I think we’re going to have to — we’re just trying to find a vehicle — I’m glad to see that Senator [Jay] Rockefeller many others, we’re all in agreement. It’s outrageous,” McCain said. “Greta, the excuse that they’re using is that somehow Fannie Mae has done such a great job. Well, we have other people who serve in government who do great jobs as well, and Fannie and Freddie Mac are owned by the taxpayers today.
“We paid $190 billion already [that] it’s cost the taxpayers, and there’s about $50 billion or more to come,” he said. “So to somehow assume that people can’t do their job correctly without millions of dollars in bonuses when every day we have men and women who are serving — some who are putting their lives on the line — they’re not getting millions of dollars worth of bonuses.”
McCain said the request for a bailout showed an “exquisite sense of timing” as it came as they were announcing the executive bonuses.
“By the way: If they’re doing such a great job, I wonder why nearly half the homes in my home state of Arizona are still underwater — in other words, worth less than the value of their mortgage — if they’ve been doing such a great job that deserves millions of dollars in bonuses,” McCain said. “This is what makes Americans cynical about their government — and I’m sure that Congress gives them plenty of reasons to feel cynical — but this is just beyond it.”
Van Susteren asked what the Senate can actually do to prevent the bailout.
“You pass something and say no funds shall be expended to pay these bonuses,” McCain said. “I think the next vehicle that’s up on the floor of the Senate — hopefully we can get it agreed to. But that would require Senator [Harry] Reid to agree. I'm not sure he would disagree, by the way — I think he would more likely than not agree.”
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