Several recent news reports highlight the failure of the Bush Administration to protect the taxpayers as Congress intended when we wrote tough accountability in the Troubled Asset Relief Program. It is unacceptable to Congress and to taxpayers that the Treasury Department cannot guarantee that financial institutions are properly using taxpayer assistance to ease the credit crunch. And it is outrageous that those institutions cannot — or will not — provide information on how they are spending billions of taxpayer dollars.
I have asked Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank to develop legislation to strengthen accountability, ensure that TARP funds are used to free up credit for consumers, and provide mortgage relief so more homeowners can stay in their homes. To protect taxpayers and require greater transparency, Congress will consider that legislation before releasing additional TARP funds.
This legislation will be one step in a number we will take, together with the Obama Administration, in our efforts to eliminate waste and fraud from federal spending.