Court oversight neglected

September 30, 2008
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Hey, there. I’ve found myself in a bit of a pickle financially and need around $700 billion. Can you lend it to me without me telling you what I need it for? Thanks. But by the way, if I don’t repay it, or I do things with the money that you don’t like, you have no recourse to get your money back.

What? You don’t want to lend me the money anymore? But I really need it, and if you don’t give it to me, bad things will happen. You should just overlook the fact that my decisions in what to do with the money can’t be reviewed by the courts.

That’s pretty much how I interpret what’s going on with the bailout package proposed by President Bush’s administration. They’ve focused so much on the doom and gloom that will happen if this package isn’t passed by Congress that the general public may not know about Section 8 of the legislative proposal for the treasury to be able to buy mortgage-related assets.

Section 8 of the original resolution states: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

But Congress must not have liked that lack of oversight because the unlimited powers for the secretary of the treasury outlined in the original resolution were changed. The amended resolution includes Section 119 – Judicial Review and related matters. Under this section, actions by the treasury secretary under this act can be held to be unlawful and set aside if they are found to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with the law.

Wasn’t a lack of review and oversight what got the U.S. into the financial mess it’s in now? The president, his administration, and Congress need to slow down and examine this package thoroughly because if it passes, it needs to be the best possible scenario for Wall Street, financial institutions, and taxpayers, or else we could just end up in this mess again in a few years.
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