Democratic North Carolina Congressman Brad Miller on $700B Bailout Plan

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," September 24, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: We have got a reaction now, fair and balanced, from Democratic Congressman Brad Miller. He`s a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Congressman, what happened, do you think — and I noticed this over the last days, sir, where the sentiment on both sides of the aisle turned against this bill. What happened?

REP. BRAD MILLER (D), NORTH CAROLINA: I think it`s a bitter pill.

I believe that we are in pretty dire circumstances. We may have the most cataclysmic collapse of financial markets since October 1929. But the people who are most directly and immediately benefited by the $700 billion proposal would be the most undeserving people that most Americans can imagine.

CAVUTO: All right, but a lot of those undeserving people have lost their jobs, right? So the ones who are left — all right, most of the ones who are left, the tens of thousands who are left in those firms, they`re not all undeserving, right? Their — their financial stability must mean something to the country`s financial stability, right?


MILLER: Yes, they — they do kind of hold us — they are holding us all ransom. But it was their policies, their business practices that led to these conditions. And most Americans don`t want to help them. And it`s a pretty bitter pill — pill for me, too.


So, let me ask you, sir, is there — when we come up with some new bill — and it looks like it`s going to have to be a new bill — would it be one that has a very big mortgage relief component, something that many in your party have urged, that would at least make helping the financial institutions more bearable?

MILLER: That would help, if there was something in it to help someone besides the companies that made the loans, knowing full well what kinds of loans they were making, or bought the loans knowing full well what they were buying.

CAVUTO: Right.

So, if I`m to understand you right, if there is to be a final package — and I guess your hope is that there is some package — it`s not this one — is there enough Republican support, as well, Congressman, for a measure that would include perhaps tens of billions of dollars worth of mortgage relief, in other words, for those folks who are behind on their mortgages or about to lose their mortgages?

MILLER: Well, we can do that within the existing proposal. We can do that by — by modifying the mortgages once we have bought a piece of them, by letting courts modify mortgages to a reasonable mortgage in a very orderly way, through — through court processes.

There are ways to modify the mortgages. I don`t think anyone really...

CAVUTO: OK. So I just want to make clear...


MILLER: ... giving away the mortgages.

CAVUTO: I got you. I didn`t mean to jump on you, Congressman. But, by that, you mean you wouldn`t be increasing the whole $700 billion price tag; you would just be re-prioritizing where the dough goes?

MILLER: Yes...


MILLER: ... and providing some — some relief that doesn`t come at taxpayer expense, allowing homeowners who can afford their house, but can`t afford their mortgage, because the terms are abusive.

CAVUTO: Got you.

MILLER: To modify in court would be a solution that doesn`t cost taxpayers a dime.

CAVUTO: All right. I understand.

Congressman, very good having you. Thank you, on this very newsmaking day.

MILLER: Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right.


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