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. richard

    So where are former Fannie Mae CEOs like Franklin Raines ($90 million in salary) and Jim Johnson ($21 million in salary in one year)? As you might expect, they're serving as Barack Obama's key economic advisers

    December 10, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. atlas

    that's one fugly pairing.

    December 10, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse NY

    The worst part of this is that the voters actually gave this bunch of losers a bigger majority.

    December 10, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. richard

    So where are former Fannie Mae CEOs like Franklin Raines ($90 million in salary) and Jim Johnson ($21 million in salary in one year)? As you might expect, they're serving as Barack Obama's key economic advisers

    December 10, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. let them fail

    what ever happened to free markets?

    December 10, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Greed is not good

    You Republicans need to get a grip and realize the money went to the Bush Administration NOT the Congressional Democrats. Paulson is the one that was appointed dictator. Plus you people are the ones that always complain about regulation...and by the way it was your Gramm Leach Bill authored by 2 Republicans that truly caused this mess in the first place.

    December 10, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. vic

    Look...the republican administration had no intent of helping those in foreclosure. AND, they have no intention of helping the auto industry either.
    Remember that at the next election.

    December 10, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Godluvr

    I agree with Chairman Frank. Until there are specific measures in place to have consistent followup and accountability of monies handed out; China will soon have to bail out all of America. What a disgrace! I still think Bush delayed information about the condition of the economy out of spite. He did it as a "Just in case Obama wins" tactic.

    December 10, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Tate

    The face of the democrates right there. WOW! Atleast you dont have to worry about the two clowns cheating or there husband and boyfriend. WHo would want these two. Cant believe they are as ugly as dumb.

    December 10, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. NY republican

    To "greed" – take a good look at the Congressional Record and see how the vote on these bills "went down". You will see that by & large that Democrats voted for and Republicans against.

    December 10, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. NY republican

    To Richard – Thank you , Thank you, Thnak you and AMEN, end of discussion.

    December 10, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Lori In DFW, Texas

    Gee, what a surprise. A bunch of money was given to a bunch of crooks, and now it's gone with no accountability as to whose pockets it ended up in. Gimme a fricking break! This bailout was an obscene waste of taxpayer dollars. I suspect that the pigs had to hurry up and line up at the trough before BushCo leaves office.

    December 10, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. semp

    Answers from Pelosi or Frank ... right?

    They be too straight shooters you betcha!

    December 10, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. dave g, minneapolis

    Just remember that it was and is the Democrat's AND the Republican's faults for why we are where we are. Only the Libertarian candidate Bob Barr was screaming that the bailouts were going to be a big mistake and that our money would essentially vaporize with no effect and no culpability as to who would be responsible when (not if) it happened.

    And now we are there. The money is gone mostly, no one really knows where, and we the taxpayers have a huge bill. The scary thing is that we are now talking about doing it for the car industry (yeah, it's technically a loan of $25B to "bridge" until next year–but who really thinks the auto makers will be paying back the loan next year). And there is talk about a bigger bailout again for the housing industry and homeowners. Again, there is little thought to where the money will really go.

    People need to understand that the Government can do very little to impact the economy (Scott NYC Independent is correct). They cried the sky is falling, and it's still falling, and the money is gone. So, Let It Fall, and then get on with picking up the pieces rather than trying to prop up the sky by buying a bunch of sticks that proponents will say will hold up the sky.

    December 10, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Frank

    Barney "Fife" Frank demanding others answer to him?

    That's ironic.

    December 10, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. FreeNLovIt

    To Vic

    The reason people lost their homes were because the economy was sent down to HELL. We never had an economy to begin with, because W never did help policies to create new jobs, onlty to send tax cuts to the top 1% and whatever is in between that they wanted. I know the argument was that this failed economy was the previous Admin's fault (Clinton). Well, totell you the truth, it COULD have been totally Clinton's fault, but since W modified policies and touched the budgets, by signing into laws, all that the top1% and lobbyists wanted, the economy isnt Clinton's fault. It is his to OWN. You see the minute you touch the budget, you own the entire trillion dorllar economy and if you are not smart enough, it will crash like it did!!

    December 10, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. That Other Jerry

    Congress needs to admit they were stupid to have given Wall Street and the banks a blank check, and they need to immediately put a stop-payment on the rest of it until they can put some oversight in place. This money will disappear down a black hole and will never be seen again, except in some Wall Streeter's Swiss account.

    December 10, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. al in memphis

    This would be funny if it was a sitcom? So sad that the people are powerless why the banks STEAL money from the public. They don't want to public to know that that money has been spent to pay off foreign debts. So what has changes other than now it's absolutely clear that you can only borrow money if you are already rich.

    Bottomline is that after all these years of enjoying lower capital gain taxes, corporation are coming back to take the rest of what is left. Talk about the ginch taking the crumbs from underneath the tree.

    December 10, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    As citizens, we shot ourselves in the foot. We employed a government that couldnt tell the difference between whether it's a government or a lobbyist. We truly need a 3-dimensional Prez.

    December 10, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. snake oil

    Someone comes to your door saying you'll get direly ill if you don't buy some snake oil. In fact, everyone will get ill and needs to buy it. We all buy it and eventually we all get the flu, or a cold, or something else and look for the snake-oil salesman. Cant find him and now we need to investigate what the illness was that it was supposed to cure, and what in fact was really in the snake oil.

    Hysteria of the Republicans and Democrats got us all to buy the snake oil. Now they have the gall to point fingers at each other and START asking questions. Why do we keep electing these morons? Just like buying a car: do your research BEFORE the purchase. Don't buy and THEN start asking the details of the dealership's reputation, the car's performance, etc...

    Get these two-party jokers out of government and let some people in with basic common sense to solve problems bigger than "how do I get re-elected"...

    December 10, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Turning the page

    Barney Frank should point the finger at himself. Congress also had the obligation to put language in the bill which would ensure that bailout $$ would be funneled towards the problem.

    Hopefully the current administration will leave behind half of the bailout $$ for the Obama administration as they promised. I have no trust in the current administration at all.

    December 10, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Godluvr

    This is funny! Joe-The-Plumber is 'appalled with McCain?' What is this world coming to?

    December 10, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Richard North Carolina

    Treasury show me the money trail who got the money where was it deposited where is it now negotate time information power (money) Bank of America in the news in Chicago the business on the line for the note shut down the business and now the information channel say they are obligated for vacation, severance, legally not. Oil prices high and the talk of the land now going south why got the money now taken the info off the news oil prices no longer a problem Fox ( Bush)in the hen house sending the money to the Financial Institution and they sit on the money T Bills yield zero if you know money it tell you the whole story. Employment level 1974 look at the houseing market and real estate market. Look at the yield on T Bills compare 1974 Financial Indicator and the picture is clearer GREED GREED GREED

    December 10, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. No More Pretenders !

    Congress is not intellectually, or experientially, equiped for these challenges.

    This body is comprised of a bunch of lawyers and local activists that were able to garner enough "feel good" support to get into office. They wouldn't know the relevance of a discounted cash flow if their lives depended on it.

    We need representatives with the requisite knowledge to be able to critique these plans and the vision/ foresight to proatively envision where things could go wrong. For example, to sign off on that $840B (it was never $700B) without a REQUIREMENT that banks lend the money instead of hoading it, shows how incomplete Congress's thinking was.

    Then, after the fact, we have to listen to the bullying, bravado words from these Representatives trying to make up for what they missed the 1st time around.

    Engineers & Industrial ... not Finance ... MBA'ers FOR CONGRESS !

    December 10, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. No Hillary = No Obama

    These two should be shown the door along with Bush, Cheney, Rice and Reid come January. They all betrayed each and every one of us.

    December 10, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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