("Quid coniuratio est?")
[From The Congressional Record -- House, H1215, Feb. 6, 1995]
THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE (Mr. Nussle):
Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 4, 1995, the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. Bunning] is recognized during morning business for 5 minutes.
Mr. Speaker, article I of the U.S. Constitution vests the power of the purse in the Congress. Unfortunately, the President of the United States has taken it upon himself to do an end run around the Constitution, the Congress, and the American people to bail out Mexico.
Mr. Clinton has pushed the barriers past the breaking point. He is basing his power grab on a twisted reading of his authority under the Gold Reserve Act of 1934. That is the law which established the Exchange Stabilization Fund that Mr. Clinton has raided to save Mexico.
The Exchange Stabilization Fund was not meant for the kind of shenanigans that Mr. Clinton is trying to pull. It was designed to ensure that we would have an orderly and stable system of exchange rates.
In other words, the Gold Reserve Act gives the President authority to stabilize the U.S. dollar and protect its value. It does not give the President the authority to prop up the currency of Mexico.
It seems that Mr. Clinton needs to take a refresher course in constitutional law. Only Congress has the authority to appropriate money.
Apparently, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, doesn't think too much of Mr. Clinton's bailout scheme either.
The Washington Times reported on February 1 that the Exchange Stabilization Fund, the IMF and the BIS do not have the resources to deal with Mexico's problems. He went on to say that the bailout should be addressed by the political leaders of the country because of its broad implications.
Mr. Greenspan is not alone in thinking that this financing scheme is a multi-billion dollar disaster waiting to happen.
The Heritage Foundation had warned that this bailout was a bad deal as early as January 25. A study by Heritage warned,
The proposed loan guarantees may bail out Mexico this year, but they will not prevent another crisis unless the Mexican Government corrects the fundamental structural problems that caused the peso's collapse.
Our financial partners in Europe seem to understand the problem. When it came to a vote at the International Monetary Fund, Germany, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland all abstained from voting rather than support Mr. Clinton's plan.
I applaud my colleague, Mr. Taylor of Mississippi, for pushing the envelope on this issue by introducing a privileged resolution that will put the House on record as to where we stand on this bailout.
His resolution will put us on track to determine whether the President has acted outside the scope of his authority.
We have all sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States. If the President is wrongly seizing power from the legislative branch, it is our duty to stop him.
Mr. Taylor's privileged resolution is just the thing to start the inquiry into what I believe may be the power grab of our time. Congress, not the President or the Courts, is charged with the power to spend the money.
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[Copies of The Congressional Record are normally available for viewing at your local library.]
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."
Coming to you from Illinois -- "The Land of Skolnick"