Magazine article American Banker

St Germain Assails Regan for Refusal to Testify on Continental

Magazine article American Banker

St Germain Assails Regan for Refusal to Testify on Continental

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- With less than three weeks remaining before the presidential election, House Banking Committee Chairman Fernand J. St Germain last week rekindled the political controversy surrounding the rescue of Continental Illinois Corp.

The Rhode Island Democrat on Wednesday issued a statement charging Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan with "playing politics" by refusing to testify before the banking committee on Continental's bailout."

Earlier, the Treasury Department declined a banking committee invitation for Mr. Regan to testify on any day between Oct. 25 and Nov. 2.

An infuriated Rep. St Germain said, "It is very clear that Secretary Regan has twin political motives in dodging the committee's inquiry."

He continued: "First, he holds the view that his appearances on television shows, meetings with corporate executives, and other campaign outings for the President are a better use of his time than carrying out his official duties.

"Secondly, it is clear that the Reagan administration would prefer that its actions, or lack of actions, in the bailout and the policy implications be explored after, not before, the election." No Reaction from Treasury

treasury officials were unavailable for comment on Rep. St Germain's statements. But in its letter replying to the Committee's invitation, the Treasury Department said, "Unfortunately, an unusually heavy schedule will prevent the secretary's testifying during the desired time frame." Rep. St Germain received the Treasury's response on Tuesday, a committee staff member said. …

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