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Geithner Refuses to Testify on TARP

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Geithner Snubs Congressional Request to Testify on TARP and Foreclosures

By: David Dayen at Firedoglake:

Tim Geithner won’t show up to House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa’s first hearing, on TARP and the foreclosure crisis, sending a top deputy instead. The deputy, Tim Massad, has no real experience with the Administration’s foreclosure mitigation programs.

“The secretary welcomes the committee’s interest in our management of TARP, a successful program that was initiated under the prior administration and which CBO now estimates will cost roughly $25 billion, a fraction of what the critics once feared,” Treasury spokesman Steve Adamske said in a statement. “As is customary, we are happy to make Acting Assistant Secretary Tim Massad, the official with direct responsibility for the TARP Program, available for the quarterly updates that the committee is planning. At the earliest possible date that is mutually convenient, Secretary Geithner would also be pleased to brief the committee on the considerable progress we have made in lowering the cost of TARP.”

Geithner and TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky were the witnesses invited to Issa’s first hearing as the panel’s boss. Next Wednesday’s hearing was timed to coincide with Barofsky’s quarterly report to Congress.

Just to shoot down any possible criticisms that Geithner is evading the oversight of lawmakers by declining Issa’s invitation, Treasury noted that, to date, Geithner has testified 42 times before Congress – and nearly one-quarter of those appearances centered around issues related to TARP.”

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