"Washington’s Role Is To Serve The Banks" Says Spencer Bachus Incoming House Banking Committee Chairman
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A reporter is doing an interview and is obviously recording. Do these guys even think before they begin speaking.
Bachus supported TARP, though begrudgingly, and only after he was removed by Republicans from his role as lead TARP negotiator with Democrats. He also showed some intelligence last week when, against certain Wall Street Congressional interests, he appointed Ron Paul as Chairman of the House Monetary Policy sub-committee with oversight over the Fed.
Bachus Gets His Chairmanship
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) will become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in the 112th Congress. Bachus, in an interview Wednesday night, said he brings a "main street" perspective to the committee, as opposed to Wall Street.
- "In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks."
- He later clarified his comment to say that regulators should set the parameters in which banks operate but not micromanage them.
In the 2009-10 election cycle, the finance/ insurance/real estate sector gave Bachus' campaign account $752,200, most of it from political action committees, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. Democrats Wednesday were critical of that connection.
"Republicans putting Spencer Bachus in charge of financial regulation is voting for the fox to guard the henhouse," said Ryan Rudominer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
- But Bachus is not alone in accepting huge donations from the industries that the committee oversees. Outgoing chairman Frank accepted $986,000 from the sector over the last two years, according to the center.
In his quiet campaign for the chairmanship, Bachus promoted an agenda to end taxpayer subsidies for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, repeal those parts of the Wall Street reforms that he thinks still leave the door open for taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions or their creditors, and increase oversight of President Barack Obama's administration.
"Now is the time to get government out of the way so businesses can create jobs and grow the economy," Bachus said.
Bachus has spent the last four years as the ranking Republican on the banking committee, the counterpart to chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and it wasn't without controversy. He irritated some of his GOP colleagues during the crisis negotiations over the $700 billion economic rescue package back in 2008, and they replaced him as their lead bargainer in the talks. He eventually supported the Troubled Assets Relief Program, but quickly became a critic of how President George W. Bush's administration was implementing it. Soon after, he survived a challenge to his ranking position, a sign that he has loyal friends inside the Republican caucus, many of whom he has showered with campaign contributions over the years.
Now watch Bachus and try not to hurl...
Video - Bachus is upset about TARP but he voted for it