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. Tom in Delaware

    Well Madam Speaker, why don't you ask the people you appointed to conduct 'Oversight' of the Bailout (don't you remember vigorously demanding that)...what's failed to appoint anybody yet?!?!

    How could that be...oh, you don't care to be even partially responsible if something goes wrong?

    That's why you, Frank, Todd, Schumer and the rest are all despicable.

    December 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Doug in New Mexico

    With the same old CEOs running or ruining everything someone should do something. But then who should be surprised? Just putting good money after bad money is not the answer. Get rid of the CEOS and their golden parachutes and bonuses and make these companies responsible and accountable and make things open for all to see. Enough is enough.

    December 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Chris in MI

    Oh yeah, NOW you idiots in Congress are asking for accountibility for the money? Why didn't you layout specific requirements and a bit of "or else" like you're doing with the auto companies before you handed the bucks over? Why can't you demand that the banks start lending...or get the money back, the same way you're threatening the big 3? You incompetent office holders are unbelievable! All of you should be thrown out. Pelosi, you're the worst...

    December 10, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. tired of corporate politics

    Congress demands answers? How about we the people demand some answers from Congress.

    Like: Why did you all just sit by and not do anything or even warn us?

    It is like they are all taking the Obama-style: I am high and mighty and I didn't know anything but am now deeply concerned. And it wasn't my fault even though I have been standing here all along.

    December 10, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Where were the questions, all the politicans, all the requirements when Wall St and the banks were handed huge sums, most even bigger than what the Big 3 auto makers are asking for.

    When credit is not available to the public, and jobs are disappearing very quickly, who can even buy a car??

    AIG had a retreat costing $443,000 AFTER getting a bailout, and then went back for more...And got it!!

    December 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Scott NYC Independent

    Lets think about this. When Paulson first went to congress he said our system would fail if congress didn't act in one weeks time. It took three weeks and nothing happened during the prior two weeks. When the bail was approved money didn't begin going out for another 2 weeks. So far we have just over a month and nothing happened to improve the economy and the financial institutions didn't fail. When banks got the funds the larger ones went on a shopping spree for smaller financial institutions. Paulsdon did nothing. Now he wants the other $350,000 and can't say what happened to the first $350,000. Now considering the incompetence of this administration why were we expecting a different outcome. Does it surprise any of us that the only thing Paulson knows for sure is that the money is gone. Hell this was the administration that shipped 5 million dollars wrapped in plastic like a Costco delivery to Iraq and when 2 million went missing they were like duh. But, no one was fired. I feel for the auto industry but I would make them either file bankruptcy or hold on until 1/21/09 the chose is theirs.

    December 10, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Dave, Central Illinois

    Barney Frank is one of the key players that supported the policies that led to Freddy and Fannie's risky loan practices. The fact that him and Chris Dodd are still making policy on these issues is troubling enough.

    December 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Get over it

    Look at how "above the law" these two look. They obviously think that they are better than the rest of us.

    I feel that Barney Frank still needs to answer for telling everyone that everything was okay at Freddie Mac and Fannie May right before everything went sour. He cause a lot of people to loose money.

    December 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. liz

    You are surprised that greedy corporate CEOs who caused this whole mess refuse to do what actually needs to be done? Srsly?

    Of course they don't use t right, they are CORRUPT! I bet they sure will be sure to get their own bonuses though...

    December 10, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Michael, Houston Texas

    It is laughable that Frank, Pelosi and others cry about how the Treasury is handling the 700 billion corporate welfare check. You idiots voted for this mistake and basically like all bad decisions you moron's in DC make, instead of you implementing safegaurds into bills so that stuff like this does not happen, you keep voting for these blank check schemes i.e. Iraq, Patriot Act, etc then you want to complain and grandstand about there is no accountability. As a matter of fact, alot of you Senators and Congress people are responsible for this mess because it was you who voted to deregulate and Clinton signed it into law like a big dummy and here we are. I would have alot more empathy if you dumb a– in congress would stop setting yourself up for failure. So Barney and Nancy, shut up! You gave them 350 billion or whatever the amount was without oversite, well hell yes we the taxpayers blame you.

    December 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Franknfuter

    Now, there is a pair, that's two of a kind , if I ever saw one.

    December 10, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    To IndiePA

    The government should have just become our CREDIT and dump all these bank institutions and etc.. I dont know, either way we are so messed up. The best I can do now is to pray.

    December 10, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Linda

    The whole idea of fighting a credit crisis by trying to stimulate lending is difficult for me to understand, but someone should ask Frank why he fought so hard to make the loans that have the housing market in shambles today. People like Clinton and Frank helped create mortgages (NYT 9/30/99) for people who couldn't pay back those loans, and now want the folks who borrowed and paid back what they could afford to pay off the bad loans. I think we should be raiding the campaign coffers of the Congress people who created the subprime loans to help out the folks who are being foreclosed on.

    December 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz








    December 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Noah

    Congress's incompetence is appalling. They should have demanded these things of the Treasury when they were drafting this bill in the first place. I have lost whatever remaining confidence i had in Congress. And, to add insult to injury, we have to look at Barney Frank's fat head. He is one of the architects of the morgage crisis. Why do Newton, MA residents keep electing this complete moron??

    December 10, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. FreeNLovIt

    To ProudLiberal

    Exactly! You hit it on the nail! These banks will never learn their lessons. We need to dump all the CEOs and high-level executives and bring new fresh blood into the company (people that are willing to do the right thing). What happened to people with integrity? Are we a dying nation because we no longer have integrity?

    December 10, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Jason

    The picture should have the caption: "The Most Utterly Useless Politicians"

    December 10, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Tom Peters

    Why are we listening to someone who sounds like Tigger?

    December 10, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    Nancy is a good woman, but we really need someone STRONG and willing to do the RIGHT THING. We need someone with judgment, vision and patience for the House Speaker position. What happened to people like that? Are they all buried after WWII?

    December 10, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Gallimimus

    This is a perfect example of how irresponsible our government really is. They are doing nothing for the American people. We as a nation need to be more responsible about who we are electing into office.

    December 10, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. Sherrol in Canada

    I still say that the big 3 should not be given this loan, they'll only come back for more in a few month, if not weeks. $15b doesn't even scratch the surface, it's said that they actually need about $150b – OMG!!!

    They should be left to their own devices which would lead them to chapter 11 (GM anyway). This is the best way folks, in filing for bankruptcy they would have to restructure and will eventually, in the long run, become more viable and building 'green' cars.

    December 10, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. chris @ stl

    Barney and Dodd Co. .... you have been fooled by Bush, Hank Paulson Co. mafia. Say good bye to the 350 b they already spent on their pals in big banking industry.

    We will not get any honest answer from this administration ....

    Don't know what Repub sen. Shelby and his cronies are up to regarding auto industry package .... Sen. Shelby from Alabama I think is in the pocket of foreign auto makers who are getting outrageous benefits from the state of Alabama ... How in the name of God he and his repub pals are willing to jeopardize 1 in 10 jobs in this country by not supporting the auto bill. Shame on you Sen. Shelby and your repub idiots in the senate.

    December 10, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Reli

    Please give Mr. Frank time to make this right.

    December 10, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. NY republican

    Wait a minute I thought these bailouts were Bush's fault. Why are the Democrats now being blaimed in these blogs? Could it be because they are the ones that pushed them through so fast so they would look like something was being done BEFORE people voted?

    December 10, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Steve

    Congress is demanding answers? Why didn't Congress attach strings to the money? Why didn't Congress actually put people in the oversight comittee? Congress threw truckloads of money at people who had ruined their own businesses through greed and mismanagement and Congress expected these people to act differently? Here are Congress-persons, who through their own mismanagement and greed, have gotten the US into trillions of dollars of debt, demanding answers from bankers and financiers who are only billions of dollars in debt. Rediculous!

    The wrong people are demanding answers. The American people should be demanding answers from Congress! It is now time for a serious house-cleaning. These people have to be taken out of these jobs and put in jobs they have the mental capabilities to perform. The new mantra for ex-congressmen should be, "Do you want fries with that?"

    December 10, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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