Pete Sessions Statement Regarding Geithner’s Announcement on Remaining at the Department of Treasury

Monday, I released the following statement in response to Department of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s announcement on his intention to remain in his post:

America’s credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s underscores a continuing lack of leadership from the Obama Administration. As the final remaining member of President Obama’s original economic team, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s primary responsibility is to carry out the Department’s mission, including: "maintain[ing] a strong economy and creat[ing] economic and job opportunities" and "manag[ing] the U.S. Government’s finances and resources effectively." Despite this mandate, he adamantly supported raising the debt ceiling with no corresponding spending cuts or reforms that would put us on a new path towards fiscal solvency.

In full spin mode, the Administration has attempted to shift the blame for the S&P downgrade onto others. However, Secretary Geithner either knew or should have known that the Administration’s abject failure to tackle the real problems plaguing our economy would ultimately lead to a credit downgrade. The Administration’s continued refusal to take responsibility for the impact of its failed policies on our nation’s economic vitality and their failure to implement changes in response to S&P’s warnings is a dereliction of their duty to the American people.

Since President Obama took office in January 2009, our nation has witnessed 25 months of unemployment above nine percent and accumulated $3.9 trillion in debt. With this track record, it simply incomprehensible that Secretary Geithner would ask Congress to write a blank check and fail to recognize the consequences of this Administration’s tax, borrow and spend policies on our credit rating.

The future of American prosperity depends on strong leadership from the Administration, including joining House Republicans in our efforts to enact fiscally responsible policies that will effectively tackle our spending-driven debt crisis. I call on President Obama to demonstrate his commitment to changing the direction of our country by declining Secretary Geithner’s offer to remain at Treasury. The American people deserve leaders who are willing to make the serious changes needed to take our nation off its path towards bankruptcy and future downgrades – and if Secretary Geithner is not, he should be replaced.

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