Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is urging Republican congressional leaders to finish naming members of a panel that’s supposed to oversee the Wall Street bailout.
"I think it probably has a lot to do with the circumstances under which the bill was passed — the rapidly approaching elections that took a lot of people’s attention away from monitoring what was going on — but the practical matter is that some of the members of the oversight board were appointed and two still remain and I just felt like it was important to get everyone named because the panel has important oversight responsibilities and they need to get about them," Braley says.
Braley sent a letter to House leaders from both parties, noting that the oversight panel — which hasn’t even met yet — was supposed to issue one report already, and another one by January 20th.
"One of the reasons I became concerned and raised the issues that I did in the letter is I think it’s incredibly important to American taxpayers to have this oversight panel functioning," Braley says, "to have all the other oversight entities that were put in place in the bill up and running and making sure there’s transparency so taxpayers know what’s being done with their assets."
Braley says he’s "troubled" with the changes in the Wall Street bailout that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen announced week. "He sold the whole package as necessary to acquire these toxic assets and to find a market for them and then ended up shifting the transfer of those funds into the banking industry and did it in a manner that was much different than what he represented when he came to congress and asked for the authority that was given to him," Braley says.
Just last Friday the top Democrats in the House and Senate appointed three members of the oversight panel. The other two appointments are to be made by the Republican leaders in the House and Senate.