McMorris Rodgers Opposes U.S. Participation in $137 Billion Ireland Bailout

Even Using Conservative Estimates, Cost to U.S. Taxpayers Would be Equal to Writing $1,800 Check to Every Person in Ireland

Washington, DC – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement after Ireland agreed to a $137 billion bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  The U.S. is the largest contributor to the IMF, which has committed $382 billion to bail out Greece and the European Union. 

“While Ireland is a valued ally of the United States, I am very concerned by America’s continued involvement in the ‘gathering storm’ of European bailouts.  The economic sickness caused by too much spending and borrowing has spread from Greece to Ireland, while larger economies – especially Spain and Italy – are at growing risk.   At a time when the U.S. federal government is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends, I am concerned by America’s growing exposure to Europe’s debt crisis.  After all, when the time comes, who will bail out America?”

Ireland is the second EU member to seek a global bailout.  The package for Ireland will equal 60 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, compared with 47 percent for Greece. 

Even using conservative estimates, the U.S. share of the IMF/EU bailout would likely come to $1,800 per person in Ireland. 

“Since Ireland is a member of the EU – and the EU was set up to be an economic competitor of the United States – the EU should solve this problem without putting U.S. tax dollars at risk.” 

According to one major economist, a bailout of Portugal is “inevitable now.”  A bailout of Spain equivalent to 60 percent of GDP would be $860 billion; for Italy, it would be $1.2 trillion. 

On March 24, 2010, Rep. McMorris Rodgers was the first Member of Congress to publicly oppose U.S. involvement in a European bailout – a bailout, which according to one leading IMF official – may cost U.S. taxpayers $50-100 billion or more. 

In April 2010, she said, “A Greek bailout today will encourage larger countries, such as Spain and Italy – which have similar problems – to get in line for American tax dollars tomorrow and continually delay the fiscal reforms that are necessary for a long-term recovery.” 

A full compilation of the Congresswoman’s work on this issue can be found here.

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