November 19, 2009, 10:57 AM
By Damian Paletta
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas) turned a seemingly boring hearing on financial regulations into a messy fracas, when they exchanged verbal insults over who was to blame for the economic crisis.
At a Joint Economic Committee hearing in Congress, in which House and Senate lawmakers sit on a panel, Mr. Brady opened up his questioning by telling Mr. Geithner Republicans, Democrats, and the American people had lost confidence in the Treasury Secretary and asked him to resign.
“It is a great privilege to serve this president,” Mr. Geithner responded. “I agree with almost nothing you said.”
Mr. Geithner then took it a step further: “You gave this president an economy falling off the cliff.”
Mr. Brady wasn’t done: “Remind me, Mr. Secretary, what post were you holding when President Obama took office?”Geithner: “I was the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”Brady then accused him of “shirking responsibility for the design of this bailout.”
Mr. Geithner said the government’s steps were “absolutely necessary to break the back of this financial panic.” He said without the Obama administration’s steps, “you would have an economy still falling, not growing.”
Brady wasn’t done. “The public has lost all confidence in your ability to do the job.”
Geithner wasn’t done either. “If you look at any measure of confidence in the financial system, it is substantially higher today than when the President of the United States took office.”
Brady: “This is your budget! This is your bailout!”http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009...-at-republican/