Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, you know, last year without a single vote from anyone in Congress, the Federal Reserve spent $29 billion bailing out Bear Stearns and then $85 billion to bail out AIG, which has now gone to about $140 billion.
Now, if that is not bad enough, the House Banking Committee wants to codify that authority. That's right: they want to give the Federal Reserve and the FDIC permanent bailout authority so that anyone who comes around that they call a systemic risk can now get permanent TARP money without having to come back to Congress for our scrutiny.
What does this lead to? Well, number one, the Federal Reserve is in charge of monetary policy, not bailouts. It will take the eye off the monetary policy, and if you think the economy is going great now, think what happens when the Federal Reserve is even more distracted.
It will also lead to unfair competitive advantage because if you're too big to fail, that means you can do anything you want to and compete against regular banks who won't get the bailout money. So it is an unfair competitive advantage.
And, finally, it will increase the moral risk, that is to say, you can make crazy loans because you know good old Uncle Sugar is going to stand behind you and bail you out time and time again after your fiscal irresponsibility.
This is a bad bill. This is a bad idea. We need to vote ``no'' on this systemic regulatory expansion bill.