By Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) - 06/24/09 05:53 PM EDT
When Congress passed the bailout bill in October, the sky certainly seemed to be falling. Jobs were being lost, stocks were falling, and banks seemed on the edge of failure. Yet instead of taking a measured and deliberative approach as our Founding Fathers intended Congress to do, the House and Senate voted to give the administration a blank check. Now, almost nine months later, we see even more homeowners losing their homes, we see businesses struggling to make payroll, and we see bankers struggling to explain where the money went.
The simple fact is that the Obama administration, for all its poll-tested speeches and good intentions, has failed to initiate programs that address the lack of credit to both homeowners and small businesses. And despite all of the Democrat majority’s rhetoric about saving and creating jobs, we continue to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs each month. Little attention was paid to the fact that only a tiny fraction of the $800 billion so-called Obama “stimulus” bill is dedicated to helping small businesses and little attention is being paid to the fact that not one dollar has gone out to small businesses yet.
Yet despite all of these facts, and despite the abysmal results, the Obama administration, in cooperation with the Federal Reserve, has decided to increase the amount committed to bailing out the financial industry up to $2 trillion. How much of this money will go directly to struggling small businesses or homeowners? Zero. Despite the taxpayers’ largesse, small businesses that have never missed a payment find themselves unable to secure a loan from their longtime banks.
Many of my constituents have been amazed to hear that the administration does not need congressional approval to spend this money. The sad reality is that the TARP bill was so loosely written that the Treasury, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve, can do almost anything they want.
It is past time for this administration and the Democrat majority in Congress to rein in the trillions of dollars worth of special interest spending and focus on the people who make this economy work.
Brown-Waite is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.