That Washington

Rossi's Criticism of Murray on "Too Big to Fail" Dosn't Match Murray's Voting Record

By Josh Feit June 4, 2010

The Democrats are pointing reporters to this KIRO-TV interview with Dino Rossi because Rossi, pretty dramatically refuses to say whether or not he supports extending unemployment insurance. (He takes off his headset, hands it back to reporter Essex Porter, and ends the interview).

The thing I noted about the interview, though, was this: Rossi knocks Congress—and his opponent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in particular—for going along with the idea that corporations should be allowed to be "too big to fail."

"My opponent is number three in leadership ... clearly lockstep with Harry Reid ... in every step, and so we are going to have that conversation along the way here as to 'Why are we doing these sorts of things?'  When you have this theory that somehow someone's too big to fail or that everybody needs to  be bailed out, it really is another form of corporate welfare. Because if you realize you really don't have to take responsibility for some of your decisions and the taxpayers will bail you out than more unsound decisions will be made."

There's a potential problem with Rossi's statement. Sen. Murray does not abide by "too-big-to-fail." She voted, in a losing effort, to end  "too big to fail" banks last month during the Wall Street reform debate.

Murray (along with U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell) voted for the Kaufman-Brown provision—sponsored by Democrats Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)—that would have prevented banks from having more than 10 percent of all insured deposits or putting more than two percent of America's GDP at risk.

Sen. Reid (D-Nev) voted for the amendment too. The amendment failed with all but three Republicans—Rossi's party—voting against it. Here's the roll call.

Sen. Murray did vote for the bank bailouts. Her Democratic colleagues, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1) did not. Is Rossi in sync with perhaps two of the most liberal members of Washington State's delegation in D.C.?

We have a call in to Rossi to get his take on the Kaufman/Brown amendment.
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