Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack called for Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner to lose his job Wednesday, becoming the first Capitol Hill lawmakers to call for his ouster over AIG's using tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for executive bonuses.
"Quite simply, the Timothy Geithner experience has been a disaster. The Treasury Department is in disarray. Taxpayer dollars are being wasted. America's economy hangs in the balance. America needs and deserves a treasury secretary who can truly lead us forward," Mack said in a written statement.
He called on Geithner, the former New York Federal Reserve chief, either to resign or be fired, and said President Obama should nominate a new secretary with "the experience and leadership skills America deserves."
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that Obama has "complete confidence" in Geithner, as lawmakers began to question why the Treasury Department didn't do more to prevent American International Group from paying $165 million in bonuses even after receiving more than $170 billion in federal bailout money.
Though the administration claims Geithner found out about the bonuses only last Tuesday, Mack suggested he was more involved.
"Before Timothy Geithner became secretary of the Treasury, he was working hand-in-hand with AIG and other financial institutions to provide them hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money as one of the key architects of the financial sector bailout," he said. "I've had serious concerns about Secretary Geithner from the moment he was nominated. In the months since, he has shown us time and again why he was the wrong choice for this critical post."
Geithner faced criticism during his nomination over personal tax problems but ultimately won confirmation.