Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. John Fetterman raised eyebrows with his choppy and sometimes borderline incoherent questioning at the Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday.
Fetterman was the last senator to dive into questioning during a hearing on the Silicon Valley Bank collapse that occurred earlier this year, and he appeared to struggle through his opening statement in the hearing.
The Pennsylvania Democrat noted that some of the witnesses’ colleagues ‘went to go to Hawaiis (sic) after there was a crash of your bank’ and that he ‘couldn’t believe it.’
‘So, I went up on the Internet, and it’s like, it did happen. It did happen. It did happen,’ Fetterman said, holding up a cutout of a New York Post headline titled ‘Ex-Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker jets to Hawaii after collapse.’
‘And it’s in Fortune, the second-biggest bank in U.S. history collapsed and chose to go to Hawaii on that,’ he continued. ‘You know, I’ve never been to Hawaii and neither has my family. I guess I’ve never cranked, excuse me, crashed a bank.’
Fetterman asked the witnesses if they believed it’s ‘a running joke’ in the banking community that the federal government will bail them out in times of trouble, to which former Silicon Valley Bank CEO Gregory Becker said he does not ‘believe that’s the case.’
‘Really? Because every bank you seemingly that crashed, it’s like, ‘We can bail him out. This one crashed, we’ll bail them out,’’ Fetterman said. ‘So far, everything’s been true. So, doesn’t it feel that now if a bank really believed that they wouldn’t be bailed out, now after bailing them out, these couple of bailouts, they are going to.’
‘Do you believe that that is not outrageous that, no matter how deplorable your performance is, you are made as whole and all by … taxpapers (sic),’ the Pennsylvania senator continued. ‘So what do yous (sic) believe?’
Fetterman then asked what would’ve happened if Silicon Valley Bank had not been bailed out before moving on to say, ‘Is it staggering? Is it a staggering … it’s a responsibility that the head of a bank could literally, could literally crash our economy.’
‘It’s astonishing. That’s like if you have, I mean like, and they also realize is that now they have … a guaranteed way to be saved by, again, by no matter, by how?’ Fetterman said. ‘Isn’t it appropriate that this kind of control should be more stricter to prevent this kind of thing from going, or should we go on start bailing and sailing whoever bank regardless of how … their conduct is?’
After a pause with no answer, Fetterman said he would give ‘an example’ before attacking Republicans for wanting to introduce food stamp work requirements and asking if Silicon Valley Bank should have a ‘working requirement’ after the bailout.
‘Because they seem more preoccupied when then SNAP requirements for works for hungry people but not about protecting the taxpapers (sic) that will bail no matter whatever does about a bank to crash it,’ Fetterman said, before a long pause and turning control back over to the committee chairman, Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
Users online reacted to Fetterman’s choppy questioning during the Senate Banking Committee hearing on one of the largest bank failures in American history.
Joe Calvello, Fetterman’s spokesperson, told Fox News Digital, ‘We have been clear for literally months and months that John continues to have auditory processing issues due to the effects of his stroke.’
‘If sickos on the internet want to keep making fun of John for recovering from a health challenge, that’s between them and their consciences,’ Calvello said.
Fetterman has been raising eyebrows while performing his senatorial duties since his return from his months-long hospital stay last month after checking himself in for depression.
The Pennsylvania Democrat was in the hospital from mid-February to mid-April of this year.
Fetterman, who suffered a stroke on the campaign trail, resumed his chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research.
Calvello told Fox News Digital that it’s ‘a sad but true fact of life that some people seem to get their jollies attacking John for the auditory processing issues resulting from his stroke, but they’re just shouting into the wind.’
‘Republicans already tried emptying the arsenal attacking John’s health, and Pennsylvanians had his back in a big way,’ Calvello said. ‘As a senator, John is fighting for forgotten communities and all of the people of Pennsylvania, regardless of their social media habits.’