ACTION REQUIRED: Executive Power Grab in Banking Bail Out Bill
by netgui68, Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 02:45:07 PM EDT
This is from a diary at DKos about the proposed Wall Street Bailout and proposed legal language that we Democrats must make sure does not pass. this is the largest transfer of congressional power to the executive branch ever..this is an extension of the Bush regime's plan to apparantly destroy America the beautiful.
Original Diary is here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/20/ 153952/268/395/603713
All Credit to the diarist: Larry Madill
Please read and Do something!
as NPR's Adam Davidson points out in his new Planet Money Blog, this bill also appears to constitute the greatest transfer of political power from the Congressional to the Executives Branches ... Possibly ever.
(a) Authority to Purchase.--The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.
(b) Necessary Actions.--The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:
(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;
(2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts;
(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;
(4) establishing vehicles that are authorized, subject to supervision by the Secretary, to purchase mortgage-related assets and issue obligations; and
(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act.
So essentially the Treasury Secretary can buy any assets he wants on any terms he likes, he can hire anyone he wants to do it, and he can write any kind of regulation he wants. The Treasury Secretary is now essentially in charge of oversight of the Treasury Secretary, and Congress is abdicating once again its own oversight powers, only getting a report from the Treasury Secretary twice a year.
Again, from the language of the Bill:
Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.
Then comes the excessively scary paragraph:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
As Adam Davidson says:
So, for the next three months, and then an additional six months after that, the Treasury Secretary can do anything he deems appropriate without anybody anywhere looking it over.
That seems like an awful lot of absolute power.
To which I add, No Shit. While a bailout is needed of the financial sector this bill seems to also constitute a massive and dangerous power grab by the Executive Branch of this country. Particularly since the Congress seems to be abdicating its own oversight duties and precluding the Court System from being able to intervene as well.
Okay, and I say this as someone who realizes some kind of bail out is necessary, WHOA! Time to slow it down Democratic Congress. Think before passing this legislation. No one in a government should be allowed this much power with this little oversight.
Senator Charlies Schumer (202) 224-6542, Email Submission Page
Senator Chris Dodd (202) 224-2823, Email Submission Page
Switchboard Number for the House of Representatives: 202-225-3121
Switchboard Number for the U.S. Senate: 202-224-3121