Steamboat Springs U.S. Rep. John Salazar again voted against the financial bailout bill Thursday, when the landmark legislation cleared both chambers of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush.
Salazar, a San Luis Valley Democrat, said earlier this week that he would not support Monday's version of the bill without more financial protection. The second version of the bill was changed slightly from Monday's legislation, including an increase from $100,000 to $250,000 in the amount of savings the federal government will ensure. Salazar said that was not enough.
"I am disappointed Congress moved forward without making additional changes to the largest bailout in our nation's history. I am hopeful this bill has the promised effect, but I'm fearful our nation is going to look back on this day with regret," Salazar said in a statement.
The bill will give the federal government authority to buy threatened mortgage-related investments and other assets in an effort to prop up the economy. The bill is valued at roughly $700 billion on paper, but the actual value is much harder to calculate because the assets being purchased include investments against tanking mortgages.
Salazar was one of 63 Democrats who voted against the measure, along with 108 Republicans. The bill passed in the last minute of voting Friday, 263-171.
Colorado's House of Representatives delegation split, 3-4, on the bailout.
Republican U.S. Reps. Marilyn Musgrave and Doug Lamborn joined Salazar in opposing the measure, as did Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Udall.
Democratic U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter voted in favor of the bill, as did Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo.
Salazar said he stayed in Washington, D.C., to work on a solution since the bailout bill was requested but that he still was not satisfied the bill was comprehensive enough to solve the crisis.
"Unfortunately, Congress has chosen to address our most serious financial crisis in almost a century with a Band-Aid," he said. "This move raises our national debt to $11.3 trillion, the largest burden ever placed on the American taxpayer, with no assurances it will even work."
On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 777 points - its biggest point-drop - or nearly 7 percent, to 10,365.45. Since that time, the Senate adopted a similar proposal, which was passed by the House. Salazar said he knew it would not be a popular decision for him to vote against the measure.
"I know that some will criticize me for this vote. I understand the anger over how we got here and the fear over what might happen in the future. At the end of the day, my vote was one of principle," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.