December 10th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Congress demands answers on bailout

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Frank wants more answers from Treasury."]NEW YORK ( - Key lawmakers blasted Treasury Wednesday for its handling of the $700 billion financial rescue plan, saying it lacks appropriate measures to ensure the bailout is working.

At a hearing held by the House Financial Services Committee, committee chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., accused Treasury of failing to address its obligation to address foreclosures and enforce lending obligations on banks.

"Refusal so far to use money for that purpose [of foreclosures] undermines the intent of the bill," said Frank. "What troubled me was when Treasury was asked by the Government Accountability Office, 'What are you doing to ensure banks are lending?,' they appeared to be saying, 'We're not going to try to find that out.'"

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Filed under: Congress
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Justin from New Haven, CT

    So does the public considering most of it opposes the bailout.

    December 10, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Lisa M

    Keep right at that.

    The money was given to them for one purpose, they are using it for another and it isn't helping.

    Question for other Americans,

    If they gave you $34,000 a piece, what would you do?
    Pay off your mortgage?

    December 10, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Grimm

    "Key lawmakers blasted Treasury Wednesday for its handling of the $700 billion financial rescue plan, saying it lacks appropriate measures to ensur the bailout is working."

    Hindsight is always 20/20. Why didn't these very same "key lawmakers" place conditions on the money before handing it over with no strings attached? Isn't that the pot calling the tea kettle black!

    December 10, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Citizen from NY

    Congress finally got a spine????????

    December 10, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Based on this story, I would hope that when Obama takes office, there will be some major changes in personnel in the Treasury Office.

    December 10, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Donna

    It's about time....Should have done that from the very beginning.

    December 10, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Mari

    Thank God, that someone is asking some tough questions! WHAT IS Treasury doing with ALL that money???????????

    December 10, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Mike Dallas

    If Congress had focused a tenth of the attention on Paulson and the Cowboy that has been directed at the automakers and 15B, then maybe they would have a clue where the money went. Instead he has spent 335B and nothing to show for it, other than his buddies on Wall Street have saved their butts.

    I am concerned that Congress now want to run the automakers. They have done such a fine job in running the insurance and banking industries, we the people already own. That has worked really well so far...

    December 10, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Rockford

    Ahhh... our do nothing congress at work.

    December 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Bruce

    Pull the remaining money from them and the auto industry and give it to US the taxpayers as a one time , tax free, "bail out". Give each family the money, those that pay taxes, and let us use the money to pay bills, invest, save, and buy cars...want the economy stimulated, give the money to the people who can use it, and who can begin to move things in the right direction. In reality it iis OUR money to begin with,. so give it back to US,.,..not to the banks, brokerage houses, auto industry, but to the people who put thses idiots in Congress in office.
    Give it to the taxpayers for their use,,,and you would see the credit, housing, auto, etc bailouts not be necessary.

    December 10, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Iowa Mom

    Ya think?

    December 10, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Chi4Obama

    To what extent will congress continue to bail out corporations failing corporations?

    First the Banking indurstry, then insurance companies; and now the auto industry. I'm just sitting back and waiting to see who will be queued up next for a "bailout" on taxpayers' dime.

    To me, these bailouts are the equivalent of "welfare" for corporations, that will not help our country in the long run.

    At this rate, we won't even have free enterprise in this country in a couple of years, since everything will be government funded.

    Welcome to a new era of socialism in America everyone (sarcasm).

    December 10, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Jackie in Dallas

    Yeah, as someone fighting foreclosure on my modest VA-loan backed house bought 20 years ago, way before subprimes, I could use a little of that help from Bank Of America/Countrywide, myself.

    When are lawmakers going to learn not to give a blank check to ANYONE and expect good returns? If you don't have accountability, and you don't expect a plan of how the money will be used BEFORE you give it to them, what do you expect? Detailed reports? NOT BLOODY LIKELY!

    December 10, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Don

    Let them sink! This country is growing ever closer to as the French did, to "manning the barricades". All politicians had better begin to remember that they are supposed to be "representing the people", not themselves.

    December 10, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Mike in Texas

    Barney Frank, who was instrumental in causing this financial meltdown, should be thrown in jail.

    Pelosi, on the other hand, should simply be institutionalized for cronic stupidity.

    December 10, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. Ken

    This mirrors what happened to tank the economy in the first place! The primary overseers in the administration (e.g. the Treasury dept.) and at the SEC didn't see it as their job to oversee.....just part of the whole de-regulation ideology of the rightwing. And when the [R]s recently controlled congress, even that line of secondary oversight was terribly dysfunctional. We now have a [D] congress, and guess what? least the secondary overseers are now doing their job. What an improvement, and the economy will eventually respond as confidence in the oversight process is restored.

    But we and the economy must still deal with the current dysfunctional [R] admistration for a few months more. During that time congress, in performing its secondary oversight responsibility, will probably have to perform proctology exams on the primary [R] administration overseers to get any useful information. I for one hope that the exams are performed with thorn-studded gloves.

    December 10, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Dave

    Oh boy, that photo is a laugher. Mr. Frank has a lot to do with the mess as it is. The bailout was a farce. How could they not know this? The majority of the country knew it. They just did not want to listen to those they represent. We should no longer vote anyone in that supported it. it was a robbery conducted under the threat of martial law.

    December 10, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Barney Frank is a moron. The Democratic Congress rushed through a bad bailout bill without specifics or safeguards, and now they blame the administration for Congress' lack responsibility. If the 'intent' of the bill was to help foreclosures, then the bill should have required that.

    December 10, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    Well, it's a start. We need a real economy and it starts with accountability and a purpose for accountability – securing our future.

    December 10, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    I am afraid this is a little too late. They robbers have already plundered the Treasury of money and booty. The members of Congress should have used the same scrutiny for AIG and the banks that they are currently employing with the US Automakers. Instead, they appeared to be falling all over themselves to see who could sign over $850 Billion first. They failed horribly and no hearings and no “tough questions” to save face are going to bring back the amount of money the American taxpayer lost due to their moment of incredible stupidity.

    December 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Mike

    Hell...I'd like someone to investigate Congress in this whole mess! If anyone thinks this is all due to President Bush, you are delusional and you think he has way more power than he does. Look to the Congress and the Senate if you want to see real corruption!

    December 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Lynn in NM

    It doesn't matter who has oversight, or if there is oversight. All of this is just a ploy to give the money back to the big corporations that supported the Democratic candidates, in my opinion. If they had actually wanted to shore up the economy, they would have given the money to the taxpayers. The taxpayers would have taken care of the economy.

    December 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. California Gold

    Give back the money. No excuses. No dancing. Give back the money.

    December 10, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Lyndon from CA

    This is sour grapes now. What did you expect from Paulson, the dude that has made a killing on the mortgage meltdown.

    December 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Jim

    So, just throwing gobs of money at Wall Street without any oversight or strings attached didn't work?


    Maybe we could try throwing another 700 billion down a rathole instead.

    Unless that's redundant.

    December 10, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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