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US Rep Sanders -IMF Asian Loans Ill
- Subject: US Rep Sanders -IMF Asian Loans Ill
- From: cd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 12:22:00
> > November 26, 1997
> > Sanders Deeply Concerned Over the Legality and Constitutionality of
> > Asian Bailout
> > Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., today said he is deeply concerned about
> > the role of the United States government in the bailout of Indonesia,
> > Thailand, the Phillippines and South Korea. The bailout, which could
> > run as high as $80 billion, is the largest bailout in world history.
> > Speaking at a morning press conference in Burlington, Sanders said his
> > concerns with the bail-out are three-fold. "I find it rather amazing
> > and disconcerting that putting at risk some $15 to $20 billion of
> > American taxpayer money has been done by the President without the
> > approval of Congress and with absolutely no input from Congress. I
> > have questions about the propriety of this, and even questions about
> > the constitutionality of this."
> > Sanders continued, "I find it remarkable that at a time when President
> > Clinton, Newt Gingrich and many leaders in Congress have found in
> > necessary to cut back on Medicare, Medicaid, veterans programs,
> > affordable housing, children's programs and the needs of some of the
> > most vulnerable people in this country that suddenly, out of nowhere,
> > the government is able to find some $20 billion in a moment's notice
> > to bailout Asian economies.
> > Sanders said he is also concerned about the legality of the bailout.
> > "In fact, it is my strong opinion, and the opinion of a number of
> > other knowledgeable people, that U.S. participation in this bailout is
> > illegal as a direct result of a law that Barney Frank of Massachusetts
> > and I passed in 1994 as members of the Subcommittee on International
> > Financial Organizations. In short, that law states that the United
> > States government cannot support any International Monetary Fund or
> > World Bank loans to any country unless the loan proposal guarantees
> > internationally-recognized worker rights."
> > Sanders continued, "I have read the proposal from the Indonesian
> > government -- an authoritarian nation led by a ruthless man, General
> > Suharto, a man directly responsible for, among other things, the
> > deaths of tens of thousands of people in his own country and East
> > Timor. Not one word in that proposal suggests that the Indonesian
> > government will adopt policies guaranteeing internationally-recognized
> > worker rights. Therefore, plain and simple, it is against the law for
> > the United States, and the Secretary of the Treasury, to support this
> > bailout."
> > "Furthermore, I find it very ironic that the hard-pressed taxpayers of
> > this country are being asked to bailout Indonesia and other countries
> > where the leaders of those countries are often extremely wealthy.
> > According to Forbes magazine, Suharto himself is worth $16 billion.
> > Jeffrey Winters of Northwestern University has estimated the Suharto
> > family wealth at over $30 billion, with another $30 billion held by
> > fifty close allies. So here we have a handful of people in that
> > country worth $60 billion dollars, owning almost all of the industry
> > and resources in Indonesia, and the taxpayers of the United States are
> > being asked to bail them out," he concluded.
> > Contact: Tina Wisell at 802-860-4178. For a sound bite, call
> > 802-860-4192.