January 11, 2012

26 GOP Senators Offer Bill to Stop IMF Bailouts for Europe

Today, U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and 25 Republican Senators introduced a bill to stop the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from using U.S. taxpayer dollars to bailout Eurozone nations like Greece and Italy. S. 1975, "No More IMF Bailouts Act," is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), James Risch (R-Idaho),  David Vitter (R-Louisiana). The bill would rescind a $108 billion line of credit to U.S. funds given to the IMF in 2009, force Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to veto future IMF bailouts, and stop a proposed doubling of U.S. dues to the IMF.

"It's time to stop the bailouts and start restoring fiscal discipline to our own economy," said Senator DeMint. "After years of mimicking European big government spending, America has lost our AAA rating with a debt of over $15 trillion that's larger than our entire economy. The U.S. is in the red zone for our own fiscal catastrophe but there will be no one to bail us out. Most importantly, bailouts don't solve a fiscal crisis, they make them worse. Greece, Portugal and Ireland have all received bailouts and all have seen their debt to total economy ratio continue to skyrocket. Europe and the U.S. need to end this undemocratic bailout culture, and do what is obvious to everyone: cut spending and balance the budget."

Senator Coburn said, "Forcing American taxpayers to bail out bloated welfare states in Europe is unconscionable and immoral. It is bad enough that Congress refuses to make hard choices within our budget.  We don't need to enable European governments to do the same.  A bailout will prolong, not ease, Europe's burdens."

In 2009, a Democrat Congress used a war funding bill to force approval of an additional $108 billion more for the IMF to continue bailing out Europe.  Using American contributions, the IMF has already used almost $40 billion in 2010 on Greece's rescue alone, with approximately $3 billion more added the first week of December this year. The European Union's (EU) Stability & Growth Pact (SGP) requires members to maintain a debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of no more than 60%, but almost every member nation is now above that. 

The "No More IMF Bailouts Act" ends further U.S. involvement in taxpayer-funded bailouts of the European economy, as well as nullifying previously expanded IMF bailout authority, by accomplishing three things: 

  • Rescind the $108 billion additional bailout authority given to the IMF in the 2009 war supplemental appropriations bill (HR 2346, Title XIV).
  • Prohibit U.S. involvement in any IMF bailouts for EU countries by directing the U.S. IMF representative to oppose any such action, and not permit further U.S. loans through the IMF to EU countries, until they meet the 60% debt to GDP ratio of the EU pact.
  • State the sense of Congress that it should not approve legislation to implement the 2010 IMF decision doubling the yearly contribution of the U.S.