Washington, D.C. – In a major step to increase oversight of taxpayer dollars, the United States House of Representatives today unanimously passed legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) creating broad authority for a Special Inspector General (SIG) to oversee federal spending through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Paulsen is one of three original co-sponsors of the legislation, which provides the inspector with the authority to conduct, supervise, and coordinate an audit or investigation of any action taken with regard to these funds. The bill, already approved in the Senate, was passed by a vote of 423-0 and will now head to President Obama for his signature.
“When the federal government is spending billions of taxpayer dollars, it is critical we have the most stringent oversight and transparency possible,” Paulsen said. “It is clear the initial TARP bailout funding has been spent without proper oversight. I am extremely proud to see this important bill pass today, as it will bring much-needed accountability to this program and taxpayers going forward.”
Specifically, the legislation – the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program Act (S. 383)- requires the SIG to submit quarterly reports to Congress, while also requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to take action – or certify that no action is necessary – when problems of deficiencies are identified by the inspector. The bill also requires that reports on institutions who receive TARP funding be posted on the SIG’s website within 24 hours after being submitted to Congress.
As the lead Republican co-sponsor, Congressman Paulsen led floor debate on the bill today. Video is below.