Issa Criticizes Treasury for Attempt to Exclude Oversight by SIGTARP of Proposed Small Business Lending Fund

February 22, 2010

WASHINGTON D.C. – Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member issued the following statement criticizing the Treasury Department’s reported plan to exclude oversight by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) in creating a new Small Business Lending Fund:

“SIGTARP has been an aggressive watchdog for American taxpayers and this attempt to circumvent their oversight must not go forward. It is disturbing, but not altogether out of character, that this Treasury Department would attempt to deny SIGTARP the ability to conduct oversight of this proposed program. Denying SIGTARP the ability to defend taxpayers sends a chilling message that IGs who conduct real oversight will be punished for holding this Administration accountable.

“Both proponents and opponents in Congress of this Administration’s spending policies should reject outright any effort to weaken oversight of bailout funds.”

Rep. Issa’s statement follows a letter from SIGTARP Neil Barofsky to Herbert Allison , Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department, expressing concern about the Treasury Department’s apparent efforts to limit the ability of SIGTARP to conduct effective oversight of bailout funds, which SIGTARP was created to perform.

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