21
Jan
09

Is This Bipartisan Cooperation?

I hate this kind of politics here’s possibly a good, well qualified candidate to fill the position of Secretary of Treasury, Mr. Timothy Geithner and all the bickering over the fact he overlooked a small item on his income tax filing earlier in the decade.

The main reason for my displeasure is all the past talk in our legislative branch of government over bipartisan cooperation and this seems to all of a sudden become a major concern of getting our economic package going.

Our Congressional representatives pulling moves like this are hopefully thinking ahead to next election in a couple of years from now, I know I’m going to start keeping track of this promised bipartisan effort.

Rep. King on Timothy Geithner Nomination

Here are a few excerpts from AP Online News Service regarding the confirmation of Mr. Timothy Geithner:

Obama’s Treasury nominee facing Senate questions

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the country facing a worsening economic crisis, President Barack Obama is hoping to win quick approval of his choice of Timothy Geithner to be Treasury secretary, but first Geithner has to explain how he missed paying $34,000 in payroll taxes earlier in the decade.

The Senate Finance Committee was scheduled to hear from Geithner on Wednesday with his tax mistake expected to be among a number of questions that panel members will pursue. The hearing is being held against the backdrop of a worsening situation in the banking industry.

Lawmakers are also expected to press Geithner for details on what changes the new president will be willing to accept to a massive $825 billion economic stimulus program that Obama hopes to get through Congress in the next few weeks.

Democrats are hoping that the urgency to deal with the country’s worsening economic problems will convince lawmakers to confirm Geithner quickly. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., scheduled a committee vote on the nomination for Thursday.

Obama’s decision to select Geithner was widely seen as an effort by the new administration to hit the ground running in dealing with the country’s economic woes.

As head of the Federal Reserve Bank’s New York regional bank, Geithner, 47, has been a central player in the Bush administration’s response to the financial crisis. He helped Henry Paulson, Bush’s treasury secretary, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fashion the government’s response.

Hopes to have Geithner confirmed and on the job on Obama’s first day in office were dashed when two committee members blocked an effort to hold the confirmation hearing last week following the revelations of Geithner’s past tax problems. As treasury secretary, Geithner would head the Internal Revenue Service.

Democrats are insisting that the country’s financial problems are too serious to delay the confirmation for what they termed an honest mistake on Geithner’s part in the failure to file taxes.

An update  from Politico, regarding the line of question that possibly will take place:

Geithner will face TARP questions
By LISA LERER | 1/21/09 3:57 AM EST

Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner will spend much of his confirmation hearing Wednesday paying for his predecessor’s mistakes.

Senators from both parties have complained bitterly that outgoing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson hasn’t answered their questions about how the $700 billion to rescue the country’s financial markets has been spent.

But Paulson isn’t the only one who knows those answers. Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve, knows them, too.

Lawmakers are expected to try to glean from him where the first $350 billion was spent and to extract promises about how the second $350 billion will be used by the Obama administration.

“There’s going to be a lot of second-guessing. But at the end of the day, I don’t think that this will derail the nomination,” said Brian Gardner, senior vice president of Washington research for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. “But it will make for some uncomfortable moments.”

Republicans are expected to ask tough questions about Geithner’s role in what one GOP aide called the “bailout culture.” Democrats on the committee will want to know how he will limit executive compensation and prevent shareholders from profiting off banks that receive the funds.

One major line of questioning will probe the reasoning behind letting the Lehman Brothers investment bank fail — then, two days later, spending $85 billion to bail out insurance giant American International Group. The role of Goldman Sachs, a major counterparty for AIG, will also come up.

And yes another update from Politico regarding our GOP friends promising cooperation by holding up the confirmation of Eric Holder.  A few more excerpts from this article:

Holder confirmation delayed
By JOHN BRESNAHAN | 1/21/09 1:34 PM EST

The Judiciary Committee was originally scheduled to vote today on Holder’s nomination as attorney general, but Republicans have objected, and under committee rules they can delay the vote for up to a week. Holder was grilled last week by Republicans on his views about interrogations, Guantanamo Bay and his involvement in the 2001 pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is seeking more information from Holder on whether the Department of Justice will pursue criminal prosecutions of “intelligence personnel” involved in detainee interrogations.

Graham said Judiciary Committee Republicans were upset by the lack of “comity and witnesses” given them during the hearing.

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