Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009

Jan 14, 2009
Floor Speech


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   Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the chairman for all that he's done to make this an accountable piece of legislation. You would think this is a movie out of the 1950s, TARP 2. You know, I can see what's happening.

   No. This is realistic. We're going to know what's going to be in the bill, in this legislation.

   But Chairman Frank, sales are down 30 to 50 percent in the automobile industry. States are losing revenue throughout the United States of America, and we know that confidence of the consumer is certainly not where we would want it.

   So I request and engage in a brief colloquy regarding H.R. 384 with your permission.

   As you know, Mr. Chairman, the legislation we have before us is not a debate focused on the interest of big business. This legislation is, instead, unmistakably intended to serve Americans across the Nation. I want to commend you personally for your leadership and commitment to providing unambiguous directives on how the TARP funds must be used for ensuring that the funds will provide relief to Main Street. This is the difference between now and a few months ago. I want to commend you for this. It is a fact that the first TARP failed to meet the intent of the Congress. Today is our opportunity to make sure that funds flow directly to Americans.

   Wouldn't you agree with me, Mr. Chairman?

   Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. If the gentleman would yield, absolutely.

   I believe that the difference in the way the TARP will be administered in the new administration and the last administration will be very glaring, and frankly, I think that one of the motivations on some of my Republican colleagues to kill this now is that they fear the contrasts that will be presented between the very responsible and effective administration of this by the new administration and the inappropriate way of the last administration.

   Mr. PASCRELL. I would agree this is night and day. I testified last month, as you remember, before the Financial Services Committee on the need to open up the credit markets for consumers. That's what we are all about. Title III of TARP will help to open the credit markets for auto loans. Specifically, it clarifies and confirms the Treasury's authorization to provide assistance to automobile manufacturers.

   We can provide lots of money to the Big Three. If we don't sell cars, if we don't have traffic in those dealers, they not only close, we have an extended recession in the economy.

   Most importantly, this bill will help those borrowers that have good credit access the necessary financing for auto loans. Wouldn't you agree, Mr. Chairman, that's a major problem: those who can't get credit aren't getting it?

   The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

   Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield the gentleman 30 additional seconds, and ask him to yield to me.

   Mr. PASCRELL. I yield to the gentleman.

   Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Absolutely. This is a necessary component of our efforts to keep the American automobile manufacturers from going under. We give this authority--we reassert this authority to Treasury, and we intend to be very, very insistent that they use it.

   Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, TARP 2 also clarifies Treasury's authority to provide support to the financing arms of automakers for financing activities to ensure that they can continue to provide needed credit, including through dealer and other financing of consumer and business autos and other vehicle loans.

   This is 20 percent of our retail economy.

   The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has again expired.

   Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield the gentleman 10 additional seconds.

   He is absolutely right, and once again, we underlined this authority and we intend to be very insistent that it be used.

   Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, it must be clear to everyone in this body, Democrats and Republicans, that the best way to get out of this recession is to encourage consumer spending, and this bill does that. Retail, rational consumption.