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. FreeNLovIt

    To Scott in NYC

    Do you notice a trend? It seems like we are smarter than our politicians or banks? It's too bad our voices are not heard. Well, about Paulson. He is right. The financial institutions needed money right away to secure our economy. And yes, they did receive money immediately and were stocked up and loaded. So, yes, they became financially sound for their own cause, not for the cause of securing a strong economy. Goodness, this is so sad. WE keep feeding pirahnas. What a mess! Complete mess!! I call for TERM-LIMITS ON ALL OUR POLITICIANS. This way they'll think less about the lobbyists. I'm sure most of them are good men and women, but tangled up in the web of eternal desperation.

    December 10, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. rhoward

    The money spent on the Wall Street boondoggle is long gone and no one is going to be held accountable for where it went. It sure wasn't spent to buy up bad mortgages or even to make credit available to businesses. Pretty much it seems the money is sitting on some financial institution's balance sheet to make it look more profitable than it is or being used to buy up weaker institutions so when the economy does turn around, these pigs can once again engage in the same kind of transactions that got them into trouble to start with.

    December 10, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Mark

    When will these corrupt politicians get voted out of office?

    I find it refreshing that the majority of Americans believe these congressional leaders are doing a poor job and not representing the american people. I just hope the people in Pelosi and Frank's district will wake up and vote these bums out of office!

    December 10, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. james

    Where were the "tough questions" , congressional hearings, etc.,and the investment banker`s plans after they LOST hundreds of billions ???? ----- OOPS ! that`s right,– there the bankers, not factory workers and belong to a labor union that the Republicans want to eliminate. ---- They don`t even have an official oversight committee---– SICKENING -- I`m disgusted at some of the things coming out of Washington over the last 6-8 years.

    December 10, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. John in FL

    Didn't Congress approve the bailout? Are you telling me they didn't read the fine print? I don't these next 4 years are going to change anything with some of these Dems running the show . Frank and Dodd are the leads for the banking and finance committee and they are in charge of appointing oversight. Live in fear people.

    December 10, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Franky

    "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."

    You know, since our government is so stupid and slow, maybe they shouldv'e just gave us the money over here...we wouldv'e taken care of it and that's crazy talk!

    December 10, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. thriveblogger

    Give the kids keys to the candy store, then when you see them run around crazy on sugar start demanding some answers?
    The TARP bill was flawed and the lawmakers knew it. This is why many people want so much change in our gov and are cynical of the system

    December 10, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Two peas in a pod

    Would you buy a used car from these two?

    December 10, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. ShawnT

    These two clowns along wth Harry Reid are gonna be a big, ugly smudge on the new Democratic govt.

    December 10, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. sick n tired

    To Scott NYC Independent : You're numbers are a little off. But overall you're point is well made and I agree with you 100%.

    December 10, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. fredm2002

    The chickens are coming home to roost!!!!! How long will it be until our country implodes due to the lack of accountability of the government?

    Its not just Princess Pelosi and Frank that need to go......they all need to be voted out of office in the next election, but that won't happen anytime soon.

    December 10, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Phil in KC

    This is the thing that makes me most angry where our government is concerned. And congress has no room to point fingers. They should have been grilling the CEOs of the financial companies and the Wall Street big wigs – like they have been the Big 3 auto companies. That money should have been a loan – like the Big 3. There should have been caps on what the leaders of these companies can make – like the Big 3. And they should have asked if $700B was really necessary – just as they've been asking the Big 3.
    At least the Big 3 make something. And they employ legions of people, both directly and indirectly. What do the financial companies do besides shuffle money around and line the pockets of the already-wealthy? The Big 3 is asking for 'only' $35B – 1/20th of the amount thrown at Wall Street. And now the financial companies are asking for even more? They're talking about another $700B? This is wrong on so many levels.

    December 10, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. BeauMan

    Regardless if you're a Democrat or Republican, Frank & Pelosi are two of the leading problems we have right now in Congress. Check out Frank's history and Pelosi's current activities and you'll see why. I swear, all of Washington D.C. needs flushed out!

    December 10, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Nick the Photographer

    AIG Continues Multi-Million-Dollar Payouts

    In bailout news, the taxpayer-rescued insurance giant AIG has admitted it continues to offer multi-million-dollar payouts to senior employees. According to Bloomberg News, AIG has offered payments of up to $4 million in what it calls a “retention” program for top managerial workers. But Democratic Congress member Elijah Cummings says the so-called retention payments could be a way of paying out bonuses. AIG’s taxpayer bill stands at over $152 billion.

    December 10, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Angi's Mom

    This is no surprise. The American people didn't trust Bush, Congress, or Paulson...and the alleged urgency of the bailout smelled from Day 1.

    December 10, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. TX Democrat

    Big surprise... this bailout proves to be a huge waste of tax dollars like the majority of the public knew it would be. And the auto companies wonder why "we the people" don't want to give them a bailout... I really just want to give up on the US government.

    December 10, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Laura, Boston

    What sour pusses both Frank and Pelosi have on in this picture!

    I find it odd that Barney Frank can open his mouth when he was a major factor with Fannie & Freddie and we both know where that lead...right to the middle of the mortage mess!

    They both voted for this bail-out NOT putting the proper oversight clauses into it so what do they expect....?

    They are both lame!

    December 10, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. JWheeler

    This was a bad bill to begin with. And these results were predictable. We are never going to get those bankers and other financial people - or our current Treasury Secretary - to be accountable to the American people. It's just another rip-off. The rest of the money (if there is any) should be put on hold until the new administration takes over from these thieves. Off with their heads!!!!!

    December 10, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Yamini Balachandran

    SOLD OUT!!!

    December 10, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Vicki5

    It is quite infuriating that Congress has no muscle to force Paulson to do anything. Please tell me that there is a way to hold him and Bush accountable, even if it's later on. Sometimes, things take a while to be brought to justice????

    December 10, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. JWheeler


    December 10, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. cableguy

    How many more days 'til this incompetent moronic administration is gone? I can't stand this much longer!!

    December 10, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Sharon Kitchen

    Treasury took the money and ran. I have been listening to the hearings on C-Span and CNN and MSNBC and every time......where has the $ gone? comes answer. took it. Account for

    December 10, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. SallySue

    What?? They didn't come begging to Pelosi for the money – the nerve of them. Unless you grovel before the "Queen" you don't get your wishes??

    December 10, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Chris

    It's funny how all these GOP haters don't see their own party's corruption/issues and are pointing the finger yet ignoring that their party has pushed for less regulation and accepted money from these lobbying institutions.

    Do as I say, not as I do... crosses party lines.

    December 10, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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