Elizabeth Warren, head of the Congressional Oversight Panel tasked with overseeing disbursal of TARP funds, has refused to reveal the own panel’s financial records, raising questions about her dedication to truly open government.
The panel was charged with overseeing billions of dollars worth of TARP funds. Warren, who is running to challenge Sen. Scott Brown in next year’s Massachusetts Senate election, has been touting her service on the panel as evidence of her commitment to transparency and accountability.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, TARP did not specify a budget for COP, nor did it require disclosure of the panel’s expenses, including travel, salaries and office expenses. Given that COP was tasked with overseeing hundreds of billions in bailout cash, it is strange that Warren has refused to break down exactly how her committee spent more than $10 million in taxpayer money, with over $8 million being spent under Warren’s leadership. In fact, when Sen. John Anunu and Rep. Jeb Hensarling wanted the committee to submit a budget and make transcripts of the meetings public, Warren joined with the two Democrats on the Committee in blocking those efforts.
The final report shows that the panel spent $8.7 million for “salaries and benefits” and $768,851 on printing costs, but Warren has not been forthcoming with any other specifics.
Considering Warren’s virtually nonexistent track record in for- profit work, her reluctance for oversight in her own committee is not surprising. Moreover, a quick review of the TARP program itself reveals little accountability in both its form and function; it is With Warren aspiring for public office, it is important that the people of Massachusetts and the public in general know how that money was spent. With feds reluctant to even bargain-shop for $16 muffins when taxpayers are footing the bill, this selective accountability by a supposed transparency advocate reveals once again that the Obama administration is willing to talk about policy but never compelled to abide by it.