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AUDIO - Murray questions Secretary Geithner

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) questioned Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about the Obama Administration’s 2010 Budget, and how it will work to fix our ailing economy. Concerned about companies using federal funds for lavish weekends and executive bonuses, Senator Murray asked for specifics from Secretary Geithner on how he planned to limit those abuses.  The questioning was part of a Senate Budget Committee Hearing. Senator Murray is the second-ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee.

Senator Murray’s question:

“My constituents are hurting,” Senator Murray said. “Families and businesses are really struggling, and they do not understand – at all – the fact that some of these companies are having lavish weekends and paying out bonuses. How are we going to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used not for these things that seem so out of line to ordinary citizens who are trying to pay their bills?”

Secretary Geithner’s response:

“Assistance comes with conditions. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege,” Geithner stated. “Those conditions will require that banks use the resources we provide them, to increase the amount of lending that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. That they report on what’s happening in lending in a way that’s transparent, accessible to the American people - that our assistance comes with appropriately tough conditions on compensation to senior executives.

“It’s going to, you know, incent what we need to happen, and make sure taxpayer dollars are not going to benefit those senior executives in ways that don’t make sense. Those are our basic objectives and I completely share your concern about it, understand how strong these opinions are across the country.”