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Washington Examiner: Commission to Nowhere


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Washington Examiner: Commission to Nowhere
This lack of transparency increases public confusion and skepticism about the value of congressional commissions in general and of the FCIC in particular. Its stated purpose, according to its Web site, is to "examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States." But what value can there be in such a report when the Senate and House have already passed landmark financial reform legislation designed to prevent another economic meltdown? Angelides and the FCIC's vice chairman, former Republican Rep. Bill Thomas of California, told The Washington Examiner the panel won't be making policy recommendations. "This report is to explain to the American people what really caused the meltdown," said Angelides. But if it won't be making policy recommendations and Congress has already passed legislative fixes to avoid another meltdown, why are we spending $8 million on this commission? The only explanation Angelides could offer was that his panel's report might be of use to those who enforce the new law.
I've always felt this about the FCIC. Maybe not after the initial meetings; but it seems redundant even for Congress. Between the Senate Banking, House Financial, and TARP COP (who I believe is doing the best job) as well as the Carl Levin Permanent Committee on Investigations; and the other committees that have been dealing with the financial crises and response, I just don't get why the FCIC was created. I've seen some people complain that it is underfunded, but in my mind that's perfect; this commission is like the appendix...
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