The public comment period for this legislation has ended.

Treasury's Legislative Proposal From Treasury Department for Authority to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets

41 section comments

Title I - Authorizing the Treasury Department to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets

Sec. 8. Review.

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.

General Comments on Treasury's Legislative Proposal From Treasury Department for Authority to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets

Mark Murphy, CommonsWare on September 22, 2008

As the British say, bollocks. I don't care if this is boilerplate or not -- if it is, you don't boilerplate your way to the tune of $700 billion. The American people cannot be issuing a blank check to the Secretary of the Treasury for use as he or she sees fit without any oversight. If the Secretary of the Treasury wants $700 billion, the Secretary of the Treasury must be held accountable for the use of said money and must suffer the consequences if such money is used in an improper fashion.

I would far rather see a section establishing an oversight board specifically tasked to review all disbursements and investments made from this $700 billion, with said board to be made up of elected officials, banking industry experts, and common citizens, and all activities of said board (including all transaction details) made immediately publicly available. Anything less is not "government of the people, by the people, and for the people".

Lee Richards on September 22, 2008

A no-review clause is patently unacceptable. Failure to provide for review and proper regulation is what created the crisis. The second part of this section - that NO court and NO administrative body shall have jurisdiction is even more troubling, and indicates that the intentions behind this proposed legislation are highly questionable.

My markup is to completely strike this proposed wording and to replace it with provision for such review apparatus as Congress deems necessary, leaving in place (by not mentioning) courts and administrative bodies. The appropriate Federal court should have jurisdiction as usual.

lambert strether (Corrente) on September 22, 2008

This clause might as well be the enabling act for a financial dictatorship. Obviously, it has no place in a country with a Constitution under the rule of law. Since even having a review clause implies that review of this law is in some way different from review of other laws, this clause should simply be struck.

And who wrote it? David Addington?

rachel on September 22, 2008

I don't care who henry paulson is. If he makes the right decisions, opening them up for review/comment by secondary organizations would just have those organizations saying "how great henry paulson is" if he's right, and the process would also open up failures/missteps to review.

Sam on September 22, 2008

Shameful! Seriously Paulson, you have quite some gall to suggest you get free reign with this bailout and no oversight whatsoever.

Ian Harding on September 22, 2008

Really. Completely absurd. What happened? Did a whole generation already grow up without having attended a high school civics class? Do they not understand the foundation of our democracy? Are they stupid, or criminal? I know you not supposed to ascribe to malice that which can be explained by ignorance, but I can't believe these monkeys are that ignorant...

KAS on September 22, 2008

No. This is absolutely absurd.

Transparency dictates that all Secretary decisions be approved by the oversight board. Which should include several citizens of the U.S. elected to this board.

Ned on September 22, 2008

As the first commenter noted, this is "bollocks."

Strike this clause altogether, and instead add provisions for some review body, or advisory board, or approval group or all three. Jesus.

Mr. Chen on September 23, 2008

This blatant attempt at dictatorship is EXACTLY what's wrong with the Bush Administration. This is how we got Bush trying to insert retroactive immunity to war crimes and retroactive immunity for telecommunications corporations that spied without warrants (with the noble exception of Qwest, which demanded a warrant). If this really was about saving the American economy, why would this line be added? This Bush Administration is un-American.

Joe in SF on September 23, 2008

This section is obscene. Everyone's talking about bipartisan cooperation. how about an appointed, temporary, bipartisan group that makes these decisions with complete tranparency before the decision is final? And the group has no reason to exist past Inauguration Day. And how about a mere $100 billion for them to spend during their tenure? on September 23, 2008

This is effectively PRE-eliminating any and all review INCLUDING the Supreme Court of the United States. It gives Paulson plenary authority and also practically eliminates one entire branch of our Government.

He apparently, really does think he's King Henry.

Daniel Schwartz on September 23, 2008

Paulson et al's PATENT refusal to discuss the problems facing this country BEFORE passing the bill seals the destruction of Democracy on both ends. We cannot debate before the decision and we cannot review after the decision.

Bernanke and Paulson said something behind closed doors last Friday that scared our lawmakers into believing this had to be done NOW. No one will say what was said. Once again, our leaders think we can't handle the truth.

What happened to leaders who say "here is the problem we face; here is the solution we propose; and here is the leadership to get us through it"? America has come out on top of every challenge. If we make it through this challenge on the back of this bill, we will no longer be the United States of America.

I M Lord full-time Mom on September 23, 2008

By all means, let us trust those who got us into this mess to get us out, without any supervision. After all, if the total lack of regulations, oversight and supervision caused this then continuing the same will get us out...? Can I have some of what they're drinking/smoking/imbibing? Gotta love it when the children are in charge of the cookie jar. The cookies are long gone, the jar is in pieces, they've destroyed the recipes and closed all the bakeries. And now they want more cookies.

Brian Clay (Amercicans for Revolutionary Reform) on September 23, 2008

I stand in opposition of this and any other like act or legislation. If I am to find that I am misrepresented by my elected officials I will do everything in my power to ensure that they are not in office the next term. This is a gross over step of our growing government is a further mismanagement of power. Those entities that have mismanaged their fortunes must meet the recourse of their actions. Removing their personal responsibility or shifting that financial responsibility is a civil travesty and has been met with opposition and revolution in decades past. Washington has fallen a long way. The fundamentals of a free market are that losses will be had, and must be had. Hence the idea of free to succeed, free to fail. God damn everyone who gives an aye in favor of this bill. You have lost the support of the American people and have lost grasps with your duty as our appointed officials. God damn you indeed.

Jim Voorhies on September 23, 2008

No one should have this unprecedented level of control over $700 Billion. There is absolutely no accountability here. That's one primary cause for the existance of the problem in the first place, a lack of accountability.

Darryl Ponder on September 23, 2008

There is no way this should be allowed to pass. Congress should have full oversight of this money and all decisions should be allowed to be challenged in a court of law. There are three branches of government!

Save our Democracy!

Ben Richey, taxpayer on September 23, 2008

This is an absolute non-starter. No one in their right mind gives one man a blank check for $700,000,000,000 and specifies that no one can ever question what he does with that money. The American people will not allow any legislator who gives away their tax money in such a fashion to return to Washington. This bill is the ultimate test - do you represent the interests of the people, or of Wall Street?

Anne on September 23, 2008
  1. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act shall be reviewed by an oversight commission composed of 1/8 Congresspeople, 1/8 Senators, 1/4 Economists with no affiliations to govt, and 1/2 ordinary citizens. (Proportions my starting suggestion). The overall composition of the commission will equally represent parties and socio-economic backgrounds. Committee to meet monthly. By a 2/3 majority vote, this oversight committee will be able to pull the plug on this program. Review of decisions and transactions by courts of law allowed.
keith g. - self on September 23, 2008

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act... may be reviewed by that Washington DC administrative judge who sued his drycleaners for $54 million for a lost pair of pants.

Seriously, get that guy in the 'antagonist' position, and he will be a tireless, unrelenting, unreasonable, tenacious escalator. Plus, he's in DC, these guys deserve each other.

John Abbe on September 23, 2008

This would (i certainly hope!) be ruled unconstitutional eventually, but why go through that mess? There should be oversight by Congress from the beginning.

themollusk on September 23, 2008

wow complete and perfect fascism and all in one sentence. i agree with grant, delete this, in fact delete the whole bill and let the banks bail themselves out.

tom m on September 23, 2008

As the comments suggest, this is beyond off the wall. And, it suggests two further bits of contextual significance:

  1. It harks back to when Bush asked for, and received, unlimited support for his insane war - done in haste, and now, by all except him and a very small coterie, profoundly regretted.

  2. It proceeds from a bargaining position that sees any form of limitation as hostile and unnecessary. This is the same inordinate fear of otherness that has been the guiding light of the last 8 years.

TJ on September 23, 2008

This section makes me wonder if this document was cribbed from an original by the Sultan of Brunei.

It's the one that'll be remembered in the history books as the most craven of all the craven insults to human intelligence fostered by this lot of mediocrities.

nmark on September 23, 2008

Has everyone in DC lost there mental faculties? For crying out loud $700 billion. It will be decades after the current airheads in office have retired before this will be paid off.

Mike on September 24, 2008

I thought I had seen it all in the last 8 years but this takes the cake. Lets just give 700 billion dollars to one man with no responsability attached (Sound Familiar). Even suggesting something this far off the wall should be illegal.

Ryan on September 25, 2008

OK, so we have this problem due to lack of oversight but we need to give Paulson a blank check and say 'here you go' what a bunch of.....

I actually read this last night and thought I was drunk, but guess not.

So, again, this is how this should be written:

The Secretary can ____ (fill in with ereasable pen as situation warrants.)

Angela K. Nuter, Concerned Citizen on September 25, 2008

I had to read this twice just to verify the sheer audacity of the statement. There are too many organizaitons, financial institutions, legal entities, that are not properly monitored, as it is. Giving the Secretary carte blanche with $7 billion is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard! This is absolutely corrupt and, as the saying goes, "absolute power corrupts, absolutely."

Caryl in Florida on September 26, 2008

NO BAIL OUT. The best thing for the national and world economies is to let the market self-correct. A bail out would cause inflation, the dollar to drop in value, and we would be a the mercy of foreign entities to purchase Treasury bills. It tells Wall St to continue on with their reckless gambles. And it tells those of us who have acted responsibly that we are a bunch of chumps! This is absurd! NO BAIL OUT! Or we will see a MASSIVE TAX BOYCOTT!

Katrina F. in TX on September 26, 2008

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Has Paulson even READ the Constitution! NO WAY does ANYONE get that kind of power. This is positively criminal...I can't believe he even tried it. Fire him NOW!

Pat on September 27, 2008

What's most disturbing to me is the media's failure to report these horrifying details. The assumption made by most articles I'm reading is that the bailout is a good thing; the House Republicans who refuse to sign the Paulson Plan without amendment are being criticized for "obstructing progress."

Why is the media generating propaganda to make the bailout appear acceptable? Is Rupert Murdoch colluding with Paulson, as he attempts a takeover of the entire U.S Treasury? It seems the government can do anything with the cooperation of an army of compliant, lying journalists.

Chris in Phoenix on September 28, 2008

I would like this written into a contract but my 8 year old grand-daughter caught on without my even prompting. Do we have common sense clauses? No one in their right or wrong mind would vote for this. Lack of Oversight got us into this mess and lines like this try to show how stupid Congress thinks we are.

WE ARE NOT! Hopefully the people in power check out our comments but don't be too hopefull. From the way this is written they only see their own pocket book and not us trying to make a living.