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Congressmen from the suburbs now split on bailout
By Joseph Ryan | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/25/2008 8:10 PM | Updated: 9/26/2008 7:51 AM

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As potential compromises on a massive economic bailout plan appear to disintegrate, congressional representatives from the suburbs are scrambling to take sides.

Some are holding on to the original $700 billion bailout pitch offered by the Bush Administration, albeit with heavy caveats. A few are trying to gain support for proposals that lean more heavily on major corporate tax breaks than direct taxpayer subsidies.

"My feeling is that before you go to the taxpayers and ask for $700 billion you have to explore every reasonable, conceivable free market based remedy," said U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican whose district includes most of DuPage and parts of northwest Cook counties. "I don't think that has been done."

U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, a Rockford Republican whose district includes the Algonquin area, is supporting a plan that includes a suspension of the capital gains tax and other corporate tax breaks to stimulate investment. "I'm more opposed now than I ever was," Manzullo said of the Bush proposal.

Other suburban representatives in Congress appear to be more open to a some form of the $700 billion bailout deal along with strict oversight, regulation reform and caps on executive pay. But with little compromise among top officials, they won't take an official stand.

U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean, a Barrington Democrat, has been one of the more supportive of the original proposal, put forth publicly by Treasure Secretary Henry Paulson, a native to her 8th District.

"I'm proud to say we have made considerable movement forward in regard to protecting taxpayer dollars," she said referring to the additional provisions added to Paulson's plan Thursday.