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Camp Floor Statement: H.R. 1586 – Taxing Bonuses Received from Certain TARP Recipients

March 19, 2009


When Congress acted to stave off an imminent financial and economic collapse, the results of which would have been Depression-era unemployment levels, we did so with the faith that the past and current Administration would carefully manage the people’s money.  That trust has been shattered.  Lesson learned.

What has been particularly troubling is the difficulty with which the truth has come out in recent days.  After many varying and contradictory excuses, we now know that the Obama Administration, working behind closed doors, secretly eliminated provisions that would have prevented the appalling abuse of taxpayer money. 

Adding insult to injury, they explicitly protected bonuses at companies that in many cases are operating only due to the generosity of the American people.  It is a breach of public trust that should have the Treasury Secretary, who repeatedly failed to pay his own taxes, looking for a new job.

Several of my colleagues on this side of the aisle, and even Chairman Rangel, have noted many good reasons to oppose the bill before us.  It is an extreme use of the tax code to correct an extreme and excessive wrong done to the American taxpayer. 

As I am sure we will hear today, two wrongs do not make a right; and neither does inaction.  It is our duty to protect and defend hardworking, taxpaying Americans.

At the end of the day, this insult to taxpayers cannot, should not and will not stand. 

I urge my colleagues to vote for the measure.