The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Senators Call for Special Inspector to Oversee Bailout Buyout

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 09/26/2008 12:19
Anita Barnes

Among the chief concerns surrounding the Bush administration’s $700-billion Wall Street rescue plan has been the startling absence of oversight that accompanies it.

The White House brought this upon itself: The original draft included language exempting the Treasury secretary from scrutiny “by any court of law or any administrative agency.” The last time Congress OK’d something that sweeping, they got the war in Iraq.

Fearing a similar power grab, lawmakers in recent days have floated the creation of an oversight board, charged with providing monthly reports and annual audits detailing what the Treasury’s been up to.

Taking that a step further, a bipartisan group of 32 senators is now pushing for creation of a whole new inspector general’s office to oversee the bailout. In a letter delivered Thursday to House and Senate leaders from both parties, the senators imply that their support for the plan hinges on the inclusion of such an overseer. From the letter:

Proper oversight will require not only our constant effort, but the full-time attention of an office with only one task: to monitor this extremely complex effort with a team of expert personnel who will not be distracted by other duties. This office must be given the power to investigate and audit, with the ability to issue subpoenas for any necessary documents.  It must report to Congress a complete set of facts about the activities of the Treasury Department and its contractors every 120 days.


The administration is asking the American people to put up $700 billion in a crisis, to execute a rescue plan for a faltering financial system. If Americans are to assume that level of risk, they deserve the action and advocacy of a team that wakes up every morning with one mission in mind: to track in the greatest detail possible the efforts of the Treasury Department in order to hold the officials executing the plan accountable, allowing Congress to properly monitor this unprecedented effort.

Sounds almost like Congress has learned a lesson.

Anita Barnes | With over twenty years of professional experience in the design industry, I'm a web designer and front-end web developer. As a small business owner, I am familiar with the difficulties that come with running a business. One of those challenges is creating a strong online presence. One that not only represents your ever-changing brand and personality, but also appeals to your target audience. Throughout my web design career, I've built a distinct design style that emphasizes attention to detail. I assume that less is enough when it comes to design. You don't have to have all the bells and whistles only because you can. It's critical to figure out which elements are essential for getting your message through to your customers – and which ones are unnecessary. I'll assist you in sorting through the choices to see what works best for you.


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