Inhofe Amendment to Require Transparency of TARP Money

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced today at a press conference with Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and John Ensign (R-Nevada), his intention to introduce an amendment to S.386, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA), that would require TARP recipients to fully disclose any expenditures that are not essential to restoring their solvency. Link to Senator Inhofe's Amendment

"My amendment to S. 386 requires TARP recipients to fully disclose any expenditures that are not essential to restoring their solvency," Senator Inhofe said. "Companies that get bailed out cannot carry on as if it were business as usual.      

"I would normally be concerned about interfering with private-sector decision-making, but when these companies take public dollars they cease to be private sector entities in the conventional sense. To date, over 540 companies have received about $600 billion taxpayer from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, supposedly to improve their financial stability.  These include some of the largest corporations and financial institutions in America.  Yet in recent years, many of these same firms found enough money to contribute annually to some of the most radical organizations in the nation.   

"Some of these companies have donated to ACORN, Friends of the Earth, Planned Parenthood, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Conservation International Foundation, to name just a few.  The vast majority of Americans do not support the agendas of these fringe groups, whose excesses have been well-documented over the years.   

"This amendment would let us see how these companies are spending their money.  If they're not focused on increasing their solvency or liquidity, if they're not working on lending to small businesses and individuals, if they're not helping get this economy back on track, and are instead financing extremist organizations, then the American people need to know about it.   

"‘Transparency' is one of the new watchwords in Washington.  Let's have some of that transparency for the sake of the American taxpayers, who deserve to see how these companies are behaving after receiving hard-earned tax dollars."