By Robert Romano — House Republican Conference Vice Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Americans for Limited Government (ALG) president Bill Wilson joined together today in expressing deep concerns about the failure of President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department to comply with even minimal transparency standards in their dealings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Rep. McMorris Rodgers, the sponsor of legislation rescinding a $100 billion credit line that Congress, asserts, “It is simply unacceptable for the Treasury Department to continue to ignore legitimate inquiries about the U.S. participation in the European Union financial crisis. The Secretary’s failure to meet the bare minimum standards of transparency makes it all the more urgent that Congress rescind the $100 billion line of credit which the Secretary oversees.”
Wilson, whose group on Jan. 12 filed an administrative appeal to the Treasury Department due to their failure to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on the same subject, agrees stating, “It is simply outrageous that the Obama Administration is trying to hide information from the American people about a $100 billion liability that this President supported and signed into law.”
On Nov. 22, the Treasury Department had requested an extra ten days to process the ALG request in a timely fashion, which should have been received on Jan. 5.
“These delays are simply inexcusable when billions of U.S. taxpayer money is already being put at risk,” Wilson said.
In addition to the $100 billion credit line, the U.S. also currently provides the IMF with a $64 billion quota that can be lent. So far, at least $27.68 billion of U.S. funds has been given to foreign governments with a promise of repayment, including $22 billion from the quota, according to the IMF.
The additional $100 billion dramatically expands the IMF’s ability to tap the U.S. taxpayer to bail out nations like Greece and the banks that enabled them to continue their out of control spending policies that have led them to financial ruin.
“Based on publicly available information, we know the U.S. is already bailing out Europe. The question is to what extent, which a proper response to our FOIA request by Treasury would reveal,” Wilson explained.
The credit line which has already been tapped for $7.2 billion according to the IMF thus far allows the international organization to draw more than $100 billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars without any additional authorization from Congress. The McMorris Rodgers legislation would eliminate the liability.
“If President Obama feels that the U.S. taxpayer should bail out the failed socialist states of Europe, then he needs to come to Congress and request the funds,” McMorris Rodgers added.
Wilson concluded, “Any member of Congress who fails to put this legislation on President Obama’s desk is choosing to use taxpayer money to bail out Europe and the banks that lent these out of control governments the money to continue their spending binge. No one will be able to hide from this fact, and the public is going to be outraged.”
The McMorris Rodgers bill currently has 90 co-sponsors and is pending in the House Financial Services Committee.
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.