Citing the lack of accountability and oversight in the implementation of the financial rescue package, Congressman Allen Boyd (D-North Florida) today voted to prohibit the release of the remaining rescue funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, which became law last October. Under the TARP legislation, the U.S. Treasury Department was provided $350 billion last fall to stabilize the financial industry, and the remaining $350 billion would only be provided after Congressional authorization.
The goal of the TARP was to inject liquidity into the financial markets so that the banks could turn around and loan this money to the American people to buy a house or car, to start a small business, or to pay for college. Unfortunately, the Treasury Department has failed to follow Congressional intent on the spending of the first $350 billion and has not tracked or been able to explain how this taxpayer money was spent, as indicated by the progress report published by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office in December 2008.
“Our nation is facing serious economic challenges, and my top priorities are to create jobs, grow our economy, and bring back fiscal responsibility to government,” said Boyd. “While the Obama Administration has made it clear that they plan to set tough standards for accountability and transparency when administering the remaining $350 billion, I am not comfortable approving any additional TARP funding without a stronger assurance that the program will benefit our families, our communities, and our small businesses.”
Boyd supported legislation that would overhaul the TARP to strengthen accountability, close loopholes and require the Treasury Department to take significant steps on foreclosure mitigation. Unfortunately, the Senate is not expected to consider this bill, and therefore, these guidelines will not become law.