Pence: Greece bailout aids competitor

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) on Friday said the Obama administration's support for the Greece bailout is counter-intuitive since the country is a member of the European Union and a business competitor to the U.S.  

"The European Union was formed to compete with the United States of America, economically," he said on the WLS Don and Roma Morning Show, a Chicago-area radio program. "We're not asking for help with New Jersey and California from the EU so it's incomprehensible to us that the American taxpayers, at a time when we're running record deficits and debt and we have a struggling economy, that we would be asked to bailout Greece." 

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Earlier this week, Pence and conference vice chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) penned a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asking him to oppose the Greece bailout. In a similar letter they also urged Vice President Joe Biden to oppose financial aid to Spain, which is facing its own financial crisis. 

"Should Spain request a bailout from the IMF, we urge you to make it clear that the U.S. will oppose such a bailout, and do all in its power as the IMF's leading contributor to reject putting American money further at risk," they wrote to Biden. "The U.S. did not implement the policies that have caused Spain's debt issue and the U.S. taxpayer should not be put at risk to bail them out."

Pence today urged Democratic leaders to publicly acknowledge that the bailouts are partially funded by taxpayer dollars.


"People of the Chicagoland area and WLS listeners deserve to know that if the proposed bailout of Greece goes forward, American taxpayers will be asked to pony up about $8 billion," Pence said, adding, "They [Democrats] don't seem to be talking quite as much about the fact that American taxpayers will be asked to bailout this European socialist power in the EU, but those are the facts."

The EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to lend Greece $144 billion. Pence and McMorris Rodgers argue the U.S. taxpayer will shoulder most of that burden since the United States is one of the largest contributors to the IMF.

"I don't believe the American people want that," Pence said. "I don't believe we want to pay that price tag. But the truth is, if we don't reverse course on our present fiscal direction, we will face the same debt-to-economy ration that is crushing Greece today in just 15 years."