ACTION REQUIRED: Executive Power Grab in Banking Bail Out Bill

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: 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.

Phone Numbers:

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

Tags: Adam Davidson, bail out, DIGG Request, Economy, Financial Meltdown, Henry Paulson, legislation, Separation of Powers, Shock Doctrine, Treasury Department (all tags)



Disaster Capitalism

in action. I'm beginning to think only a revolution will solve this before we become a full out and out fascist state.

by SocialDem 2008-09-20 03:14PM | 0 recs
I am afraid that

I am starting to think the same thing..we really have some serious systemic corruption in Government.

by netgui68 2008-09-20 04:17PM | 0 recs
Hustlers who stole so many people's money need to

be held accountable.

Its as simple as this. They knew they were dealing shaky mortgages.

They pushed these bad loans to those made vulnerable by bad credit, old age or infirmity.

"The fact that these mortgages were so chancy was what made them so profitable - and the executives were thinking only of the short-term profit that generates the annual bonus.

So, the same way drug kingpins launder the proceeds of street sales, the Wall Street firms bought up subprime mortgages and turned them into supposedly primo securities.

They then overvalued these laundered mortgages and used them as collateral to leverage their firms beyond all reason.

The immediate result was that top executives such as Lehman CEO Richard Fuld became as wealthy as in their wildest dreams and moved about as the titans they imagined themselves to be.

Never mind that the fabulous profits originated in hustling decent souls many of whom fell prey to these bank robberies disguised as a loan while ill. Instead of a solution to their debts, they ended up losing their homes as well.

Many ended up with payments that exceeded their income, they showed no mercy to millions of crudely hustled homeowners.

The individual result was the homeowner faced foreclosure.

The cumulative effect was the laundered debt was deemed "toxic," which was what it had been all along. "

What we need to do is let the banks fail. And those executives who engineered this huge ripoff need to be held accountable. This is not a liquidity crisis. Its just the tip of the iceberg.

We need to lift up the rock and let some sunshine into thee banks. By auditing them.

That is how democracy works, not by enabling addicts like BushCorp continue the charade.

Its a colossal ripoff.

Just say "NO".

by architek 2008-09-20 04:45PM | 0 recs
It's called George W. Bush
We've had this serious systemic corruption since George W. Bush was declared President by the Supreme Court in 2000. Back in 2001, the Bush administration it's first Patriot Act legislation. It warned Congress to act quickly because our country faced imminent destruction by terrorists. Most members of Congress voted without even reading the legislation. Now, we're told by the Treasury Department that, if we don't pass Bush's legislation within days or hours, our country will face the worst financial crisis in our history. Do you see any similarities here. George W. Bush has been trying to destroy this country from day one just like he destroyed every company he ever owned.
by zenful6219 2008-09-21 05:03AM | 0 recs
I don't want a Democrat to have this much power,

and certainly not a Republican.

But it's hard for me to believe that we can fight it.  The Democrats that rolled over for FISA will pant and beg for this.  I feel demoralized already.

by Dumbo 2008-09-20 10:21PM | 0 recs
My Question:

How can you pass a bill which says that it isn't open to judicial review? Isn't that the whole point of the judiciary? It reviews what Congress passes?

by warmwaterpenguin 2008-09-20 11:56PM | 0 recs


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