Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Senate GOP leader McConnell, up for re-election, calls for action on credit crisis, citing rural impact

The credit crisis is hitting home in rural America, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said today, citing rural examples from his home state of Kentucky in his second floor speech of the day on the subject. He told reporters that Congress would act this week.

"I'm hearing from towns and municipalities throughout Kentucky that can't find the money to finance new schools and other civic projects, and from farmers and small business owners who are suddenly being told by their banks that a long-term loan is due," McConnell said on the floor. "Others are being pressured to pay more, or well ahead of schedule. And these are people with good credit."

Monday's record plunge in the stock market struck fear into retirees, McConnell said. "I'm hearing from people like the retired school counselor in Anderson County who said she can't afford to see her small retirement savings vanish. 'I've never written to any senator or congressman before now,' she wrote." McConnell quoted an unnamed Central Kentucky woman who said she is afraid she will have to sell part of her family's farmland if the rescue plan fails.

McConnell, who is in a tight race for re-election with Democrat Bruce Lunsford, said he and Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada are working to pass a bipartisan plan. "The voters sent us here to respond to crises, not to ignore them," he said. "And if you fail the first time, you get back up, and you work with each other. So, we know what we need to do, and that we need to do it quickly." (Read more)

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