Robert Schmidt and Rebecca Christie
Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009
U.S. Treasury Secretary-nominee Timothy Geithner told Congress President Barack Obama plans within the next few weeks to propose a “comprehensive plan” for responding to the economic and financial crises.
The plan will address the credit crunch and the collapse of the housing market, as well as global economic conditions that require a coordinated international response, Geithner told a Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination today. He also urged Congress to pass a robust stimulus plan to revive the economy and pledged to reform the government’s $700 billion bailout program.
“The ultimate costs of this crisis will be greater if we do not act with sufficient strength now,” Geithner said in testimony at today’s hearing. “In a crisis of this magnitude, the most prudent course is the most forceful course.”
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Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was questioned by senators about his role in crafting the Obama administration’s response to the financial markets rescue. Lawmakers also grilled him about his late payment of almost $50,000 in taxes.
Geithner said his tax errors were “careless” and unintentional, and he apologized to the committee for the toll they have taken on his confirmation process.
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“I should have been more careful. I take full responsibility for them,” Geithner said.