Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Geithner Confirmation Likely Thursday

A Senate friend, who is closely observing the confirmation hearing of Timothy Geithner, tells me that Geithner is likely to be confirmed Thursday.

The Senate Finance Committee,for the most part, outside of Sen. Jim Bunning, has been treating Geithner as though he was the Dali Lama instead a key player in the bizarre near-criminal disbursement of the first $350 billion of TARP funds.

But, Bunning let him have it. Live blogging the hearing, WSJ reported:

Sen. Jim Bunning, the longtime Fed foe, steps onto the pitcher’s mound and starts firing. He says he had “serious reservations” even before the tax issues arose. Bunning says Geithner was “involved in just about every flawed bailout action of the previous administration.”

On the tax issues, “Mr. Geithner does not provide a satisfactory explanation for the problem, certainly not one significant for a high-ranking public official, who the American people demand and deserve to hold to a higher standard.” He says the committee has known about the tax issue since December 5 but didn’t tell members until a week ago. He also says the hearing has been rushed, and that the committee never interviewed the IRS personnel involved in the tax case. Geithner’s failure to pay all the taxes until being nominated “is hard to explain to my constituents who pay these taxes on a regular basis.”

There was no indication of a question for Geithner. But Bunning’s time was up anyway.

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