House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) took a whack at the Bush administration on Wednesday for failing to disclose all of the financial institutions that are getting emergency loans under the $700 billion bailout.
Boehner said the Treasury and Federal Reserve should comply with a Freedom of Information Act request into who is receiving taxpayer money, and “they must begin providing lawmakers and taxpayers all information about how they are using federal tax dollars.”
Boehner said the bipartisan negotiations behind the financial bailout package stressed the need for meaningful oversight of how the money was being spent.
“Transparency is even more important now, given that the program appears to have been implemented in some ways that were given little to no discussion as Congress was being urged to pass the rescue plan,” Boehner said.
Boehner’s comments came after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson earlier Wednesday said that he had decided to scrap plans to buy up troubled mortgage assets — the original purpose of the bailout — in favor of making direct investments in financial institutions.
Boehner’s criticism comes as he is hoping to retain his Minority Leader post in the next Congress. Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) is the only other Member who has said he is weighing a bid. Both Boehner and Lungren supported the bailout, but most of the rank and file opposed it.