- Pence introduces legislation halting U.S. involvement in IMF aid. AP
Seizing on conservative anger toward the federal government’s financial assistance for U.S. banks and auto companies and the recent headlines about Greece’s economic woes, Pence and a group of other House Republicans have introduced symbolic legislation that would halt American involvement in any International Monetary Fund aid to European Union nations.
“I just don’t believe American taxpayers should be forced to bear the risk of nations that have avoided making tough choices,” Pence said in an interview previewing his remarks to the gun-rights group’s convention in Charlotte.
There is little the U.S., as only one member of the IMF, can do to stop the bail out of Greece.
But by drawing attention to the matter, Pence touches upon two conservative hot-buttons: anger over corporate bailouts and a fear that the U.S. is on a path toward a European-style economy and political system.
The five-term Indiana congressman doesn’t spare his own party, though.
“I think the American people are tired of the borrowing and spending and bailouts that characterized federal policy under both political parties,” Pence said, alluding to the Bush administration’s TARP and Obama’s aid to Wall Street and Detroit.
Not coincidentally, Pence opposed TARP when it came to the House floor in the fall of 2008 —– a stance that could provide some daylight between him and other GOP presidential hopefuls who supported the measure such as Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who also just happens to be speaking at the NRA convention, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Asked why he would discuss fiscal issues before a group of firearms enthusiasts, Pence said NRA members are mostly a conservative bunch who “believe in first principles.”
In an interview with Bloomberg's Al Hunt, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took issue with the effort by Pence and House Republicans to block the IMF's aid to EU countries.
“We have a big stake in helping Europe manage through these things,” Geithner said. “We’re going to do it in a way that’s sensible for the American economy, the American taxpayer.”
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