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. Fritz

    "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" – Richard

    No they aren't Richard. And just because you repeat something over and over again does not make it true.

    Franklin Raines is not an Obama economic advisor – that myth has been debunked. Same for Jim Johnson – not an economic advisor.

    So Richard, would you like to feed us more lies like the finding of WMDs in Iraq? The linking of Saddam Hussein and 9/11?

    December 10, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The Barney and Nancy Team should have insisted on some real accountability upfront. Like the guy in "Animal House", they screwed up– they trusted Bush and Paulson.

    December 10, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Ms. B in California

    Hurray for Scott the Independent, coulnd't have said better myself

    December 10, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Shane -- Montreal, Quebec

    I know Bush has a few days left t'ill he steps down as President, but you democrats need to start focusing on other things then Bush .. lol
    The republicans would probably say to you democrats " I told you so". Lets face it, the only reason why the republicans voted for that Bill is unfortunetely and unusually they had to let the pressure of politics sway them to vote for the Bill. We all know what the republican philosophy is, let them go bankrupt !!! And I agree with Bob, Barney smells corrupt to me and so do the other two clowns. The " do nothing congress " has another slogan up " The incompetent congress". Hopefully Obama can straiten them out.

    December 10, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. DJ in TX

    Whether or not you like Frank or Pelosi, the fact remains that Congress was led to believe by Paulson that the money would be used by not only to shore the credit issue, but to help home owners as well. Why are the banks who accepted government money, not lending? Isn't that what they are supposed to do.

    You don't want government regulating you, but you come to the government to be bailed out when in a jam. Until the banks start lending money to business and people again, I say no more bail out.

    All we are doing is keeping the banks and their employees empoyed while they are not lending money to help businesses keep their employees employed.

    Unfortunately, that is going to lead to government oversight and regulation. If you don't lend the money you don't need any money.

    December 10, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Nick

    Yes, lets elect offcials on the basis of their looks or MTV stardom.

    Elisha Cuthberg for president.

    I hope you have some tangible comments and not just brainless rants.

    December 10, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Steve, Madison WI

    It is funny watching the Fox News lemmings try to blame the Democrats for Bush and his Republican Treasury Secretary's failures and the failures of the greedy Banks to once again self-regulate themselves into using the money for its intended purpose.

    What we continue to fail to acknowledge is that Wall Street and particularily the Banks are all greedy, unscrupulous, and not capable of actually running a business (that would require actually adding value to the marketplace, rather than artificially creating "bubble" economies – internet, housing, etc.)

    The real solution, which was proven out in Sweden I believe, was to have the government take over the banking system, lend money to where it was truly needed, stabilize the econmy, and then return the banks to public entities. In the meantime, the overpaid Wall Street and Bank execs would be out of a job, the markets could decide the companies' fates (isn't this what the Republicans always preach) and the economy would rebound as money would be flowing to the people and businesses that need it at a fair interest rate, not being hoarded by Banks, used to acquire other banks, or lent only at exorbitant markups as is happening now.

    December 10, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. karen

    They will use the money to build more banks.

    December 10, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. 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, $25b? $34b? 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 build 'green' cars

    December 10, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. rob

    Hey "Greed is not good"

    That piece of legislation you mention was written by two republicans but it was signed into law by the one and only, can do no wrong........ William Jefferson Clinton. The hero of those perfect 90's when the whole world loved us, the economy was always great, we had no wars. We had Lincoln bedroom sleepovers, it was ok to have oral sex with a 21 year old intern in the Oval office, he commited and was found guilty of purgery and obstruction of justice etc. etc. etc.

    You remember him right.

    December 10, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Mike

    Yes I would like to know too, but aren't they the ones who voted for this proposal without any measure of sucess? Seems to me they are just as much at fault here...

    December 10, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Tennessee Mike


    December 10, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Ken

    This new fracus 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?…at 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 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. richard

    Democrats just funneled the money back to them self.

    December 10, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Just my opinion

    They should have demanded answers before handing over $700 billion dollars to the banks with nothing more than a two page application.

    Now they're raking the big 3 over the coals using them as targets to appease the american people because we're fed up with everyone else getting bailouts and not us, yet we're the ones funding all of this.

    December 10, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. nathan

    You dummy Dems are allowing these two stupid and stupidier crazies to oversee any financial matters . Sweet Frankie was one of the main culprits of the mortgage failures. The Q ueen only blinks like a frog in a hail storm. You Dems ask for them now , reap the worse. It will take 4 yrs to undo the mess they will make. Thanks alot .

    December 10, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. donny

    700 billion is $700, 000 million to the big banks and insurance cos. and they hardly had to ask for it. The auto cos get 14 billion and they had to beg for a LOAN. We can bet the big banks will not pay anything back to the taxpayers. Maybe congress should hire into GM so they can design a car they want.

    December 10, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Chip

    Pelosi and Reid, the Barnum and Bailey of Politics

    December 10, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. J.P.

    Sharpen your pitchforks and light your torches, folks, we're storming the castle in 2010. Barney, Nancy, have your bags packed.

    December 10, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. M Nixon

    Barney was one of the major culprits in start of this whole mess by forcing mortgage companies to make loans to people who would never be able to repay them. Then his guarantee the FM was fine didn't seem to pan out.

    Where is the promised investigation that Pelosi had to look into this whole mess? Guess it got flushed along with all this bailout money.

    December 10, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. NY republican

    WOW what a picture!! Let me get this straight (OK so it won't be Barney), is it MR. Smug and Ms. Arrogant, or vice versa.

    December 10, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. NY republican

    Can any 2 people look down their noses any better than these 2.

    December 10, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Get over it

    The Wicked Witch of the West and the bumbling idiot, what a pair.

    December 10, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Scott Tucson

    Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank, does anyone honestly believe that these two twits can run the auto industry? We're seeing the economic mess that the democratics which had majority for the past 2 years got us in already.

    The majority of Americans polled said NO to the bailout and that the big three needs to file chapter-11 or banckruptcy first, but are our congressional representatives like Pelosi listening to us?

    December 10, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. chris from stl

    C'mon guys ... whatever you idiots in congress want to do, just do it. Don't drag your feet ... For every hour you waste on indecision, the market drops big. The market doesn't like uncertainty.

    December 10, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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