Lawmakers Want To Know Where Bailout Money Has Gone

03.11.09 | FL News Team

Two congressional panels want some answers about the oversight and rescue of troubled financial institutions. Two hearings are examining where TARP funds have gone. TARP is the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which is designed to bail out faltering banks.

The previous Bush administration was widely criticized for how it dispersed the first half of the roughly 700-billion-dollar TARP. Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich said the money was doled out with "no strings attached, limited accountability and no questions asked." 

Kucinich said there is still questionable oversight by the Treasury Department in the Obama administration. Kucinich chairs a House subcommittee on government oversight.

California Republican Darrell Issa also criticized a lack of transparency and called on the new administration to fix it. Indiana Republican Dan Burton said, quote, "I don't think there's a single member of Congress who really knows where all the money has gone." 

Another hearing is taking a critical look at how the Securities and Exchange Commission responded to the meltdown in the financial sector  New SEC Chairwoman Mary Shapiro is the lead witness in that hearing.