In a news conference yesterday morning, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) made the following remarks regarding the White House’s claim two weeks ago that it was confident it knew how taxpayer dollars were spent by the insurance giant AIG:
“Two weeks ago, the President’s spokesman said that they were confident that they knew how every dime was being spent at AIG. Well clearly, they didn’t know what they were talking about. I think this is outrageous and I think the American people are rightly outraged that their tax money is going to pay bonuses to the very people that got this company in trouble.” (AUDIO)
NOTE: For months, House Republicans have been calling for more stringent accountability regarding the use of taxpayer dollars in financial bailouts. House GOP leaders wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last month, urging him to present an exit strategy to get the federal government back out of the private sector. The leaders sent a similar letter to former Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke late last year. The following exchange took place between White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and ABC News reporter Jake Tapper on March 2, 2009.
JAKE TAPPER: AIG, is the administration confident that it, that it knows what happened to the tens of billions of dollars previously given to AIG?
ROBERT GIBBS: Is it confident – I’m sorry?
TAPPER: That they know -- that you guys know what happened to the previous billions before you hand over this next $30 billion.
GIBBS: Yes -- yes, the -- I mean, I don’t think it's a -- well, obviously, you’ve got a huge insurance company that is losing money, not the least of which because of its sheer size and sheer size and decrease in the growth in our economy. It experiences a far bigger drop, largely because of its size. But, again, the steps that -- that Treasury and -- and others took were to ensure a larger systemic problem wasn’t one that we had to deal with here today in letting something just die.
TAPPER: But in terms of specifically the -- I guess it's like $150 billion before, you guys are confident...