During a noontime presser on the federal bailout funds, two conservative Republican senators spoke out against Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of the Treasury. Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) said he is skeptical of Timothy Geithner, who has admitted he failed to pay $34,000 in self-employment taxes from 2001-2003.
DeMint left a door open, but said he would vote against the nomination if he had to take the vote today. Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.) was more outspoken in decrying the idea of a Treasury Secretary who didn’t even pay his own taxes. (Then again, Rep. Charlie Rangel, (D., N.Y.), who chairs the committee in charge of writing tax policy, has had a similar issue with his taxes.)
The Republican senators held the presser in order to present a resolution to block the release of $350 billion more from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The original TARP bill allows for such a resolution to block the funds, but the president can simply veto such a resolution. Either President Bush or his successor would certainly do so in the unlikely event that it passes — the bailout is one thing that Obama will not change.