By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
In response to growing concerns that the United States will end up on the hook for the mess that is now the Greek economy, Rep. Mike Pence and several of his colleagues have introduced legislation to bloc U.S. tax dollars from being used by the International Monetary Fund to bail out Athens or any of the other troubled European economies.
“The American people are fed up with taxpayer-funded bailouts and deserve to know we are bailing out Greece and possibly other European countries," Pence said. "If the Obama Administration has its way, the U.S. will contribute to a nearly trillion dollar bailout of European countries with economic crises that are a direct result of wasteful government spending."
The European Bailout Protection Act would:
- Prohibit any funds that have yet to be drawn by the IMF from being used to provide financing to any EU countries until all EU nations are in compliance with the debt to GDP ratio requirement in their own collective growth pact.
- Require the Treasury Secretary to oppose any IMF loans to EU nations until all EU countries are in compliance with their debt to GDP ratio requirement.
While careful to point out that the proposed legislation does nothing to permanently prohibit the IMF from lending to European nations in economic distress, Pence said it was important to keep in mind that “American taxpayers should not be forced to bear the risk for nations that have avoided making tough choices.”
“This legislation would require that countries like Greece cut spending and put their own fiscal house in order, instead of looking to the United States for a bailout. We face record unemployment and a debt crisis of our own, and American taxpayers should not be forced to bear the risk for nations that have avoided making tough choices,” Pence, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House, said.
- Check out this month's best political cartoons.
- Become a political insider: Subscribe to U.S. News Weekly, our digital magazine.