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Press Release
TARP Congressional Oversight Panel Releases First Report - Congressional Oversight Panel Press Release
Panel Seeks Real Answers to Tough Questions on Behalf of the American Public

December 10, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – TODAY, December 10, 2008, the Congressional Oversight Panel released its first monthly report on the expenditure of Troubled Asset Relief Progam (TARP) funds authorized by Congress in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA). The report outlines ten tough, but direct questions that the Panel will seek to answer during the coming months on behalf of the American public regarding the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.

“We are here to get answers to the questions Americans have a right to ask: who got the money, what have they done with it, and how has it helped this country?” said Elizabeth Warren, the Chair of the Oversight Panel. “This first report not only lays out the questions that will drive the Panel’s work, but demonstrates our determination to bring a broad spectrum of independent input and expertise to ensure that public actions are built on firm foundations that will help stabilize markets and strengthen our economy for America’s families.”

The ten questions raised in the report are:

  1. What is Treasury’s strategy?
  2. Is the Strategy Working to Stabilize Markets?
  3. Is the Strategy Helping to Reduce Foreclosures?
  4. What Have Financial Institutions Done with the Taxpayers’ Money Received So Far?
  5. Is the Public Receiving a Fair Deal?
  6. What is Treasury Doing to Help the American Family?
  7. Is Treasury Imposing Reforms on Financial Institutions that are taking Taxpayer Money?
  8. How is Treasury Deciding Which Institutions Receive the Money?
  9. What is the Scope of Treasury’s Statutory Authority?
  10. Is Treasury Looking Ahead?

The full report, which includes an explanation of each question and a discussion of actions and events since since EESA was signed into law, can be found on the Panel’s new website: www.cop.senate.gov.

In addition to providing the public with access to the Panel’s reports, the new website is designed to open a line of communication with all Americans. The Panel is encouraging the public to pose their own questions, make their own suggestions, and share their personal stories through the website at www.cop.senate.gov.

Section 125 of EESA created the Congressional Oversight Panel to “review the current state of financial markets and the regulatory system” and gave the Panel power to hold hearings, review official data, and write reports that review the TARP program and provide recommendations for regulatory reform. In November, Congressional Leaders began appointing Panel members, and the Panel’s first meeting was held on November 26, 2008. In the two weeks since the first meeting, Panel members met with representatives of the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the GAO. The Panel approved the first report with a 3-1 vote on Tuesday, December 9, 2008.

The Panel members are: Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Richard Neiman, Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York, and Damon Silvers, Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO, and Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. The Panel is currently awaiting the appointment of the fifth and final member.

For more information, please contact Caleb Weaver at 202-224-9979 or Caleb_Weaver@cop.senate.gov.