Rep. Michelle "The Democrats are all Traitors" Bachmann repeats one of Mark Levin's favorite wingnut questions during a Congressional hearing1. The "legal" wingers think the Constitution must explicitly authorize all actions by the Federal government because they fail to realize that the Consitution is designed to tell us what the Federal government must do and what it cannot do.
REP. BACHMANN: Reclaiming my time. Mr. Secretary, what provision in the Constitution could you point to to give authority for the actions that have been taken by the Treasury since March of '08?
SEC. GEITHNER: Oh. Well, the Congress legislated in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act a range of very important new authorities.
REP. BACHMANN: Here in the Constitution. What in the Constitution could you point to to give authority to the Treasury for the extraordinary actions that have been taken?
SEC. GEITHNER: Every action that the Treasury and the Fed and the FDIC is -- it's been using authority granted by this body, by the -- by the Congress.
REP. BACHMANN: And by -- and the Constitution -- what could you point --
SEC. GEITHNER: Under the laws of the land, of course.
REP. BACHMANN: And if I can move to the Federal Reserve chair, if you could point to what provision in the Constitution would give authority to the Federal Reserve, because there has been over $10 trillion that we're talking about.
MR. BERNANKE: I don't know where $10 trillion comes from. The Congress has the right to authorize funds, which is what they did in the TARP program. And they have given us -- in the 1930s they gave the Federal Reserve the power for emergency lending as a means of addressing financial crisis, which is what we've done.
1Federal News Service
March 24, 2009 Tuesday
HEARING OF THE HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE;
SUBJECT: OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S INTERVENTION AT AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP
CHAIRED BY: REPRESENTATIVE BARNEY FRANK
WITNESSES: FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN BEN BERNANKE; TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER; WILLIAM C. DUDLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW YORK LOCATION: 2128 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C.
SECTION: CAPITOL HILL HEARING
LENGTH: 33852 words