Speaker of the House
Hello. My name is Karen Templer and I'm a constituent of yours, and more important, a citizen of the United States of America.
I'm writing in the hope of receiving some assurance that, as a person charged with leading one arm of the legislative branch of what is still believed to be a democratic nation, you have no intention of ever signing anything that includes the following language, as does the Legislative Proposal from the Secretary of the Treasury reported by the Wall Street Journal and other news agencies:
Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
It is bad enough that we have a president who has demonstrated his belief that he is (along with his administration in general) above the law. Now one of his appointees is asking for absolute power over $700 billion dollars of taxpayer money and expects his decisions with regard to those funds to be not subject to law or review?
Anyone who signed such a document would have shirked their duties to the American people in a most profound and unprecedented way.
I don't understand how the language got into the proposal in the first place, but I sincerely hope you -- and any Congressional delegate who takes seriously his or her responsibility to the American public at whose discretion they do still serve -- will make it immediately clear that you will not be handing over such control to anyone, but will instead honor and hold inviolable the structure of our government, with its built-in checks and balances.
Given that there's no earthly reason to believe that an above-the-law clause is necessary in order to accomplish the goals of the bailout, the only imaginable response might be that we're at risk of losing Wall Street and our economy without it. I say if, in fact, you and others have been presented a stark choice between our economy and our democracy, you have no choice but to uphold democracy. That is what you are elected -- and have sworn -- to do.