Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was questioned about his TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) vote today while on a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Dave Weigel has some details:
What that event was lacking: Hundreds of Ron Paul supporters ready to boo him. Hatch was on a sleepy panel about the possibility for a balanced budget amendment when a questioner threw the dynamite.
"When you talk about fiscal conservatism," he said, "how can we trust you, if you voted for TARP?"
Half the room exploded with cheers, pleasure at the audacity of the question. Hatch was stony-faced.
"Under the circumstances," said Hatch, "at the time, we were going down, and let me tell you…"
The crowd interrupted him with boos.
"Yes, you may disagree," said Hatch, "but you weren’t sitting there, and you didn’t have to make these decisions! I probably made a mistake voting for it. But let me just say this to you, we were in real trouble… the secretary of the Treasury, a Republican, presented this plan." Hatch continued but contradicted himself. "If it had taken my vote, the 51st vote, to stop us from going into a depression, I would have done it anyway." It was a mistake, but he’d do it again. This is never a comfortable position.
Filed under Election, TARP
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “today appointed U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE) as a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), which oversees the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP),” according to a press release.
Kaufman will fill the position on COP formerly held by Elizabeth Warren.
The Panel is slated to expire six months after the expiration of TARP, on April 3, 2011. Although TARP is expiring, many of its programs will continue to spend money, and COP is expected to write six more reports.
Kaufman will continue to serve in the Senate until his successor is sworn in on November 15, 2010.
(credit image – daylife/associated press)
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) “will convene a hearing on Wednesday to examine the state of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which helped to stabilize the U.S. economy during the financial crisis,” according to a press release.
At Wednesday’s hearing Baucus will hear from expert witnesses from the three oversight bodies responsible for tracking the use of taxpayer dollars and ensuring transparency in the TARP program. Baucus fought hard to create the office of the TARP Inspector General to provide transparency and accountability in the TARP program, and he will highlight the importance of vigorously protecting the taxpayers interests at the hearing. Baucus will question the witnesses on the successes of the TARP program and ask them about the progress of efforts to pay back TARP losses. The Committee will also examine the effects of the Wall Street Reform bill Congress recently passed on the TARP program.
Witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing include: Neil M. Barofsky, Special Inspector General (SIGTARP) for the United States Department of the Treasury; Elizabeth Warren, Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel; and Richard Hillman, Managing Director of the Financial Markets and Community Investment Team at the United States General Accountability Office.
(credit image – daylife/associated press)
Filed under Hearings, TARP
A spokesman for “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that it would be difficult to hold a vote on the Wall Street reform legislation this week,” The Hill reports.
House and Senate conferees reopened their meetings Tuesday after Republicans expressed opposition to a $19 billion fee on financial institutions included in the conference report last week.
With Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) scheduled to lie in repose on the Senate floor almost all day Thursday and with work left to do on the legislation, spokesman Jim Manley told reporters that completing wok would be "difficult but it’s still possible."
Meanwhile, a separate article notes that Democrats “will put forward a proposal to shut down the 2008 Wall Street bailout bill when they reconvene the conference committee on financial reform legislation this afternoon.”
Part of those talks will include a proposal to shut down the $750 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) authorized in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis, and a proposal to use unused TARP authority to pay off the costs of the bill.
(credit image – daylife/reuters)
An amendment offered by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217) has been adopted by Voice Vote.
It would “reduce the size of the bailout fund known as TARP by $150 billion and prevent Treasury from redirecting unused funds for new programs,” according to a press release.
It would also ensure that repaid banking, housing and auto bailout funds – totaling more than $180 billion to date – are used to pay down the deficit, not fund further spending.
(credit image – nytimes)