The leading U.S. House critic of continued U.S. financial support for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just secured a private meeting with the IMF’s managing director to discuss problems that members of Congress have with tax dollars that go to the financial titan.
In an exclusive interview with HUMAN EVENTS on Friday, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R.-Wash.) revealed that IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has agreed to a meeting with her this Wednesday, Dec. 14. Lagarde, the former French finance minister who took over the IMF helm following the spectacular scandal that brought down IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn in May, will meet with McMorris Rodgers at the congresswoman’s office on Capitol Hill. Also in the meeting, the Republican lawmaker told us, will be Rep. Scott Garrett (R.-N.J.), chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises that has the most dealings with the IMF.
For McMorris Rodgers, the meeting with Lagarde is a major triumph. Earlier this year, over the multibillion-dollar IMF bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and nervous that a default would mean U.S. taxpayers would be left holding the bag, House Republican Conference Vice Chairman McMorris Rodgers introduced HR 2313, which would secure the return of any unused U.S. tax dollars from that $108 billion IMF package and apply it to the deficit here. The measure initially had 22 co-sponsors, but in the last week, as fears that the IMF would be called on for similar bailouts for debt-wracked Italy or Spain, the number of co-sponsors shot up to 83.
A similar proposal in the Senate (SR 1276) introduced by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has seven co-sponsors. When DeMint introduced his bill, SR 1276, as an amendment to the Economic Development Revitalization Act in June, 43 of 47 Republican Senators voted for it, and all but one Democrat voted against it.
In September, McMorris Rodgers voiced her frustration to HUMAN EVENTS over the U.S. Treasury Department not informing her of just how the IMF dollars from this country are being spent, and how much of the $100 billion (which was over and above the annual donation the U.S. makes to the IMF) has been spent in the last two years. A sit-down session with Lagarde (“woman to woman”), she told us, would give members of Congress a clue as to how tax dollars are used by the IMF.
“Yes, I would like to have that conversation with her,” McMorris Rodgers told us, noting that the U.S. is responsible for about 17% of the IMF’s budget, and is therefore its largest shareholder.
At the time, IMF watcher McMorris Rodgers was critical of Lagarde’s performance because, she felt, “[s]o much of her approach appears to be continuing the current path [of Strauss-Kahn]. But it’s too early to reach any conclusion, and I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see how our meeting goes.”