Mr. HENSARLING. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.
I must admit, Mr. Speaker, I find it quite ironic that many of my friends on the other side of the aisle who for weeks, if not months, have come to condemn the TARP program, to tell us all of its woes and shortcomings only to come now and say I'm going to vote for the next $350 billion.
And it's clear to me, listening to the debate, that my friend, the distinguished chairman of the Financial Services Committee, must be number one on the list of Members of Congress who will miss President George W. Bush. Everything that has happened in our land apparently is the responsibility of the former President, from the TARP program to bad breath and everything in between. But if every press account in the Western World is correct, it would appear that the distinguished chairman of the Financial Services Committee was largely responsible for writing the legislation. Now, again, I know him to be an honorable man, I know him to be a principled man, but this is legislation that I believe was written in haste. Maybe the circumstances caused it to be written in haste.
But since then we have something different, Mr. Chairman. We have the Federal Reserve now has committed almost--between the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the Treasury and FHA under the HOPE for Homeowners program, we are now looking at almost $8 trillion of potential taxpayer liability. I'm curious, number one, what is it that's going to be achieved with this extra $350 billion where there is no plan--no plan has been presented by the administration. I mean, you know, he just took the oath of office, we were all there; there is no plan that has been presented.
And what is it on an emergency situation that the Federal Reserve cannot do with their various and sundry auction facilities that are already set up? And if this money is needed on a very urgent basis, what is it that prevents this body from coming and acting upon a specific request of the administration? And the answer is: Nothing.
Well, Mr. Speaker, what we have to look at is, this is an extra $350 billion that's going to be added on top of the single largest federal deficit that we've ever seen. Since my friends on the other side of the aisle have taken control of this House, we have seen the Federal deficit go from less than $200 billion to something 800 percent higher, I mean, $1.2 trillion. And sooner or later, Mr. Speaker, somebody has to pay for that.
We need an economic growth plan that will preserve jobs and grow jobs. We need an economic growth plan that will expand family's paychecks so they can pay their mortgage payments--our version of foreclosure mitigation. And we need a plan that doesn't send unconscionable, immoral debt to our children and grandchildren. Granting an arbitrary number of $350 billion to an incoming administration without a plan does not meet that test.