House Dem Leader Cool to Emergency Powers for Geithner

As Brian observed earlier, the big story of this morning’s testimony from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was their request for broad governmental powers to seize non-bank financial institutions — effectively paving the way for receivership in case another AIG-sized firm heads for collapse. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) isn’t prepared to hand over those powers to Treasury without getting more questions answered.

At his weekly briefing with reporters, Hoyer was notably cool to the idea of handing Geithner takeover powers without greater congressional oversight:

“I want to talk to the various committees including obviously Mr. Frank and his committee, to determine whether or not they think such delegation of authority is appropriate or whether there needs to be some greater oversight,” said Hoyer.

“We’re talking about huge sums of money, huge consequences, for one individual,” Hoyer said.

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