GOP Also Calls for More Bailout Transparency
It’s not only Democrats who want some answers about the Treasury Dept.’s Wall Street bailout strategy. House GOP leaders are also wondering where all those taxpayer dollars are going — and what good they’re doing.
In a Dec. 3 letter to Treasury Sec. Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Republicans questioned the changing nature of the now-misnamed Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.
Changing conditions can require agility in policymakers’ responses. However, the seemingly ad hoc implementation of TARP has led many to wonder if uncertainty is being added to markets at precisely the time when they are desperately seeking a sense of direction.
The government has burned through nearly $350 billion of TARP funds and is pledging trillions of dollars more through other programs, yet little is understood about how these investments are contributing to the nation’s economic recovery.
Sounding like Democrats, the GOP leaders also asked for more transparency, blasting Paulson for his slow response to questions from House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent before Halloween.
More than a month ago, on October 29, the House Republican Leader sent a letter to the Treasury Secretary questioning the use of TARP money for executive bonuses and bank acquisitions by other banks, as revealed by various news organizations. It was only today that Treasury provided a response, and the response did not answer the questions that were asked in the Leader’s letter.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino was incredulous today at the thought that the administration has a history of being unresponsive to Congress. Perhaps today’s letter will trigger an epiphany.