|00:00:00||THE TAXPAYERS' CONSCIOUS INVESTMENT IN PRIVATE BUSINESS IS THROUGH STRONGER OVERSIGHT AND STRONGER ACCOUNTABILITY, NOT BY FURTHER ENTRENCHING GOVERNMENT IN THE MANAGEMENT OF HUNDREDS OF BUSINESSES ACROSS AMERICA, MANY OF WHICH ARE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL BANKS THAT DID NOTHING AS MY FRIENDS HAVE COMMENTED, TO CREATE THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CHALLENGE.|
|00:00:17||INDEED, GIVEN THE GOVERNMENT'S TRACK RECORD IN PILING UP HUGE DEFICITS AND MISMANAGING A WIDE RANGE OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS, THERE IS LITTLE REASON TO BELIEVE IT WILL HAVE ANY MORE SUCCESS IN RUNNING PRIVATE ENTERPRISES.|
|00:00:29||THE AMENDMENT LEAVES THE DISCRETION TO THE SECRETARY OF TREASURY TO EXEMPT COMMUNITY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FROM THE LEGISLATION'S COMPENSATION PROHIBITIONS.|
|00:00:38||I WOULD SUGGEST, MR.|
|00:00:40||CHAIRMAN, THAT RATHER THAN LEAVING THIS RESPONSIBILITY TO THE TREASURY SECRETARY, WHO I MIGHT ADD FAILED TO BLOCK THE A.|
|00:00:45||I.G. BONUSES AND WHO BY HIS OWN ADMISSION HAS A VERY FULL PLATE THESE DAYS, WHY NOT SIMPLY EXEMPT SMALLER TARP RECIPIENTS ENTIRELY FROM THE GOVERNMENT MICROMANAGEMENT OF COMPENSATION LEVELS FOR ALL EMPLOYEES THAT THIS BILL IMPOSES?|
|00:01:01||I WOULD RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.|
|00:01:04||THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN FROM GEORGIA RESERVES THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME.|
|00:01:07||THE GENTLEMAN FROM CALIFORNIA.|
|00:01:09||MR. CARDOZA: I HAVE NO FURTHER SPEAKERS.|
|00:01:11||I'D RESERVE TO CLOSE.|
|00:01:12||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLEMAN FROM CALIFORNIA RESERVES THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME.|
|00:01:17||THE GENTLEMAN FROM GEORGIA.|
|00:01:19||MR. PRICE: MR. CHAIRMAN, HOW MUCH TIME REMAINS?|
|00:01:21||THE CHAIR: THE GENTLEMAN HAS 3 1/2 MINUTES REMAINING.|
Mr. PRICE of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I want to commend my friend from California for introducing this amendment. I think that it's a good idea, but in my view, doesn't go far enough. I would also point out that it is purely arbitrary, and that gets to the heart of the challenge that we have here, the arbitrary nature of what we're deciding.
Small financial institutions should be automatically exempt from this legislation. The best approach to protecting the taxpayers' investment in private business is through stronger oversight and accountability, not by further entrenching government in the operations and management of hundreds of businesses across America, many of which are community and regional banks that did nothing, as my friends have commented, to create the current financial challenge.
Indeed, given the government's track record in piling up huge deficits and mismanaging a wide range of Federal programs, there is little reason to believe that it will have any more success in running private enterprises.
The amendment leaves the discretion to the Secretary of the Treasury to exempt community financial institutions from the legislation's compensation prohibitions.
I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that rather than leaving this responsibility to the Treasury Secretary who, I might add, failed to block the AIG bonuses and who, by his own admission, has a very full plate these days. Why not simply exempt smaller TARP recipients entirely from the government micromanagement of compensation levels for all employees that this bill imposes? I would reserve the balance of my time.