As Congress goes back and forth with the Bush Administration over a $700 billion plan to aid troubled Wall Street financial firms, legislators need to pay close attention to part of the emergency legislation that would unduly expand the powers of the executive branch.
A Wall Street Journal blog recently posted a draft of the proposed legislation. A disconcerting part of that plan is Section 8, which would yield broad, unfettered and unchecked authority to the Treasury Secretary. That section reads:
“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”
The Society of Professional Journalists and other groups have expressed concerns about abandoning the idea of checks and balances in this proposed legislation and the lack of public oversight.
Yes, we need to address the financial crisis and find a solution, but unchecked control of $700 billion and secrecy should not be part of the solution.