Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is pushing for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to resign, said Wednesday that he will introduce a resolution when the Senate returns from recess that seeks a vote of no confidence in Geithner.
“The stock market gave a vote of no confidence to Timothy Geithner,” Paul said, attributing the stock markets’ ebbs and flows to Geithner’s handling of the economy. “Geithner has shown no acumen in predicting, diagnosing or treating America’s economic woes. The time has come for him to resign.”
Last week, Geithner told President Barack Obama that he would stay on through the end of the president’s first term. The move followed speculation that the secretary was considering leaving his post and that the White House, wary of a high-profile confirmation battle with a restive Senate, was pushing Geithner to stay.
Paul’s comments come in the wake of a tumultuous economic cycle. Last week, after months of partisan warfare yielded a deal to raise the debt limit and cut spending, Standard & Poor’s downgraded U.S. debt — the first time an rating agency has done such a thing. The agency cited the dysfunction of Congress as a major factor in its decision.
On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 600 points. It rallied Tuesday to close up over 400 points.
Paul’s move to castigate Geithner stems from the secretary’s failure to institute policies to curb rising unemployment, prices and debt, according to Paul’s office.
Paul also faults Geithner, who before being confirmed as Treasury secretary was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for the Fed’s failure to diagnose and act on the housing crisis.
“He presided over bank bailouts, auto bailouts and failed trillion-dollar stimulus plans,” Paul’s office said.
All of these policies, which the White House argues were needed to stave off a depression, were reviled by conservatives, particularly those affiliated with the tea party movement.
Paul’s statement follows a call by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Tuesday for Geithner to go. Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), who is seeking the GOP nomination for president, has also called for Geithner’s resignation.