by Kyler Hood
Eastern Washington's U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican, and U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-Okla., are preparing legislation to block the International Monetary Fund from helping to bail out Italy and Spain, The Hill is reporting.
According to the lawmakers, $108 million in U.S. taxpayer money is currently available to fund bailouts for the floundering countries in Europe.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is currently in Europe conferring with European leaders on the crisis that many have said could lead to a deeper worldwide recession. Earlier this week, central banks around the globe jointly made a move to extend credit to the troubled continent.
McMorris Rodgers — who has long opposed using American money to assist in the European economic crisis — emphasizes that the U.S. must focus on its own debt crisis. She says she is concerned over lending to European countries because no conclusive evidence suggests a bailout will prevent a European recession down the line.
“We need some transparency about what’s really going on,” McMorris Rodgers told The Hill. “It’s hard to get information. We’re talking about U.S. taxpayer dollars being involved in the European bailout. The administration needs to be honest with the Congress. I believe Congress needs to be involved in making this decision.”
In March, 2010, McMorris Rodgers was the first member of Congress to publicly oppose the European bailout. Since 2010, the IMF has set aside $353 billion for bailing out European governments, although a significant amount has not been used yet.