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U.S. Rep. Kind Supports Tough Accountability & Transparency for Additional Economic Rescue Funds

January 21, 2009
Press Release

 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today joined a majority in the House to pass additional accountability measures on funds distributed to banks as part of the Financial Rescue Package passed last fall. H.R. 384, the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) Reform and Accountability Act, will strengthen accountability, close loopholes, increase transparency, and require the Treasury Department to take steps on foreclosure mitigation.

“The Bush Administration’s accountability of these funds was virtually non-existent,” Rep. Kind said. “At the very least, taxpayers deserve to know how much of their money is being spent, and what it is being spent on. This bill goes much further than that.”

The Bush Administration’s Treasury Department failed to follow congressional intent on the spending of the financial rescue funds, and did not satisfactorily track or explain how $350 billion of taxpayer money was spent. H.R. 384 takes the following steps to ensure this does not happen with the second half of the TARP funds. It:

  • Strengthens accountability, closes loopholes, increases transparency -- forcing banks to report how government funds are being spent;
  • Requires the Treasury Department to take significant steps on foreclosure mitigation;
    Affirms that TARP should be used to benefit small financial institutions, consumer lending, auto companies, and municipalities; and
  • Limits bonuses for executives of firms participating in TARP.

“How we spend this money is crucial to the stability of the American economy, and it is our job to ensure it is being targeted in the most effective way,” Rep. Kind said. “I have often said the best way to ensure accountability is to let the sunshine in, and that is what this bill does."