The mood in the country may be shifting to the right target for political payback –the Congress:
Our elected Federal office holders are talking nonstop about the economic crisis and about accountability. More precisely, our elected Federal office holders are talking about and demanding accountability from everyone, except themselves and their colleagues. [# More #]
Members of the House of Representatives and the members of the U.S. Senate often and loudly request the resignations of Cabinet members, agency chiefs, elected officials outside of their own legislative body, and any senior executive in the private sector who fail in their job. (Think Katrina and Mike Brown, the then head of FEMA.) But, and it is a huge but, as our financial Katrina hurdles our economy into a new and untested environment, it would appear every member of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate is exempt from any calls for accountability. Apparently, every member of Congress can do virtually anything (or not do virtually anything) without so much as a whisper of accountability or even a a single word of criticism.
Even with the discovery of vast sums of money in their refrigerators or the absence of the remotest fulfillment of their job requirements, apparently, the only people in the United States who are not to be held accountable for their actions by Members of Congress are Members of Congress. Adding insult to injury, leaders of these institutions appear ready to laud those in leadership roles where their failure is both obvious to the least intelligent observer and that failure has been devastating to The United States of America.
With discussion following, the following are steps that would demonstrate a modicum of accountability fro those in Congress who were responsible for starting the ball rolling on this economic crisis or have been visible in promoting the wisdom of those who led the failure:
Senator McCain offered legislation to slow the subprime market and Senator Obama truly was not in the Senate long enough to impact this financial crisis. That being said, it is inexcusable that either of these gentlemen continues to rely on the expertise of any of their senior advisors who were involved in the management of FNMA. These individuals should be fired or asked to resign by the end of the day. This should start with Franklin Raines, a key economic advisor to Senator Obama.
Members of House of Representatives:
1. Barney Frank
Resign from the House of Representatives by the end of the day.
2. Nancy Pelosi
Resign as Speaker of the House of Representatives by the end of the day.
3. Members of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee
Resign from the committee by the end of the day if have served over four years.
1. Christopher Dodd
Resign from the United States Senate by the end of the day.
2. Harry Reid
Resign as majority leader of the United States Senate by the end of the day.
The following comes from the icon on the first page of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services website. The icon “Who We Are” has the following as its first two sentences:
The Committee oversees all components of the nation’s housing and financial services sectors including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. The Committee continually reviews the laws and programs relating to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and international development and finance agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The only activities that Barney Frank and his committee did not perform were the overseeing and reviewing. In fact, the committee took steps to stop regulators from properly overseeing FNMA. The Chairman of this committee, Barney Frank, should resign and all committee members who were around long enough to know or should have known what was happening should find other work in the House of Representatives.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives on October 3, 2008 had this to say about Barney Frank: “Under the leadership of our chairman, Barney Frank ………….. lauding representative Frank’s work. In the private sector, the only lauding that might have taken place was to tell him what a nice suit he was wearing as he was thrown out the door. We cannot have a Speaker of the House of Representatives who would even consider lauding the chairman of a committee that so obviously did not do its job. The House needs new leadership.
The Senate Banking Committee has as one of its two charges:
Such Committee shall also study and review on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to international economic policy as it affects United States monetary affairs, credit, and financial institutions; economic growth, urban affairs, and credit, and report thereon from time to time.
The only activities that Christopher Dodd and his committee did not perform were the studying and reviewing. The Chairman of this committee, Christopher Dodd, should resign and all committee members who were around long enough to know or should have known what was happening should find other work in the U.S. Senate.
The Las Vegas Sun reported the reaction of Senator Reid to the passage of the “bailout bill”: Reid and Sen. Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who had led discussions for his party, embraced. In the private sector, the only embracing that might have taken place was to tell him to go home permanently and embrace his wife who might still love him. We cannot have a Senate Majority Leader who embraces failure. The Senate needs new leadership.
With the above accountability, the U.S. Congress might leap into a double digit approval rating from the citizens of this great country.