I’m somewhat staggered by Congressman Oberstar’s response time with regard to my Wall Street Plan, I assume that they must have heard from a number a of constituents on this subject, even so a reply usually takes more than 3 days.
While the measures taken fail to go far enough I give five gold stars to Jim Oberstar’s staff for quickly responding to email.
To read the original blog post: Jody’s Wall Street Plan, Confiscate Bonuses, Cap CEO Compensation & Fire Top Executives
Congressman Oberstar’s reply:
Dear Ms. Scott Olson:
Thank you for expressing your thoughts regarding the financial rescue legislation. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
I fully understand the level of anger and anxiety regarding the current financial crisis. The credit crunch has made it more difficult for Minnesota businesses to obtain sufficient credit to purchase inventory or meet payroll, and impacted the ability of Minnesotans to borrow money for homes, cars, and college. The threat to our national economy is real, and the failure to stabilize financial markets will hurt Main Street Minnesota as well as Wall Street.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (P.L. 110-343) was signed into law on October 3, 2008. It authorizes the Department of the Treasury to purchase $700 billion of troubled assets through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), includes a process for the taxpayers to be repaid in full, and contains essential independent oversight and transparency protections. I supported this legislation because of the substantial improvements that were added to the original Bush administration proposal and my honest assessment of the consequences of inaction.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration did a poor job of implementing this program. Oversight of the program has found the Treasury lacking in its responsibility to monitor how the funds are being used, and Secretary Paulson was ineffective in pressuring participating institutions to increase lending.
On January 21, 2009, the House of Representatives passed, with my support, the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009 (H.R. 384) by a vote of 260 to 166. This legislation would take significant steps to strengthen accountability, close loopholes, increase transparency, and require the Treasury to take significant steps on foreclosure mitigation. Specifically, any institution participating in the TARP program would be required to submit public reports of how the funds were used. These reports would be published online for the public to view. The legislation would strengthen executive compensation requirements for participating institutions to include, among other provisions, prohibiting bonuses to the 25 most highly compensated employees and prohibiting all golden parachute payments. Additionally, the legislation would require $40 billion to $100 billion for foreclosure mitigation, which could include loan modification or refinancing.
I will continue to support efforts to address the economic crisis. Taxpayer protections, limits on executive compensation, accountability, transparency, and common-sense regulation of the financial and housing industries remain important priorities in these efforts.
With best wishes.
James L. Oberstar, M.C.