It was a bipartisan "thank you" for a job well done, followed by a partisan "your welcome."
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, testifying today before Representative Barney Frank's Financial Services Committee, praised the architects -- mainly Republicans -- of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which is winding down next month. He added that legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, showed courage in 2008 by voting for $700 billion in bailout loans for banks.
"Now, I know a lot of people who voted for TARP decided later that they had to distance themselves from that vote by disparaging the programs, but I think they should be proud of the votes they cast,'' he said, adding that about $640 billion of the loans are expected to be repaid. "They were on the right side of history."
Frank responded with a dig directed at John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who wants to become House speaker if the GOP regains control of the chamber in the 2010 mid-term elections.
"Thank you, Mr. Secretary. I will probably see the Republican leader, Mr. Boehner, later today, and I will pass along to him your thanks. He was, of course, one of the staunchest supporters of the TARP.''
The Newton Democrat continued: "I was just reading Secretary Paulson's book and noted his quote of that comment from Mr. Boehner, "We would be crazy not to rescue AIG." So I appreciate that."
American International Group's bailout reached $181 billion and many economists fear much of that will never be repaid.
A representative for Boehner's office declined to comment.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.