Jim Inhofe targets Tim Geithner, AIG funds

The Oklahoman

By Chris Casteel

WASHINGTON — Saying the public has been "completely fleeced” on the American International Group bailout, Sen. Jim Inhofe proposed legislation Tuesday to cut off the troubled company from federal money.

"No matter how you look at it, it’s a bad deal for the U.S. taxpayer,” Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Inhofe blamed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for escalating bailouts of various types in the past two months and said the approach has gone too far.

"I believe there is a lack of any transparency whatsoever and a seeming indifference to the taxpayers’ interests.”

Inhofe’s speech came on the same day Geithner told the House Financial Services Committee he should have more regulatory authority over companies like AIG, including the power to seize control over it before it fails.

Inhofe said AIG has already received $150 billion and could draw $30 billion more that has been approved by the treasury secretary. He proposed a bill to keep that remaining money from AIG.

Inhofe also said legislation passed by the House to tax 90 percent of the big bonuses to AIG employees may be unconstitutional.