WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) expressed her outrage today about the recent problems with the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the extraordinary bonuses paid to executives at AIG and other firms assisted by TARP funds.

Granger has become increasingly alarmed about reports over the last few months that TARP recipients used government funds for purposes Congress never intended, such as acquiring other banks.  Then, the same firms that accepted government help used taxpayer dollars to pay extraordinary bonuses to their executives.  Today it was reported that at least 13 of the biggest TARP recipients have unpaid tax bills, totaling $220 million.

“Nearly every week, we hear about another problem with the TARP program,” Granger said.  “As far as we know, these are the only problems, but where does it stop?  We have no idea.  One of the reasons we got into this situation is because we rushed through and didn’t fully examine the proposal and its possible side effects.  Here we are again today, trying to rush through a solution when we don’t understand the problem.”

Granger voted against the bill the House considered today because it would only recover some of the bonus money a year from now.  The plan Granger supports would recover all of the bonus money immediately.
“The American people deserve to get 100 percent of their money back from these bonuses, and they deserve to know what the administration knew about the bonuses and when they knew it.  I am outraged by the behavior of the TARP recipients, the administration, and the Treasury Department.  There has been no transparency and no accountability.  We need a full investigation into the TARP program so we can begin to understand and solve the problems we know about, and the ones we have yet to discover.”

The Senate voted unanimously to add an amendment to the stimulus bill that would have restricted bonuses at any company receiving bailout funds.  However, this provision was removed from the final version of the bill.  As a result, AIG was allowed to give $165 million in bonuses to its executives.

“The Senate clearly understood there was a problem.  However, under pressure from the administration, the provision that would have prevented these outrageous taxpayer-funded bonuses was stripped.  Secretary Geithner knew what was happening.  He is one of the chief architects of the situation we now find ourselves in, and he should do the right thing and resign immediately.”