GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen was unsuccessful in his attempts to end federal funding for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. In committee, Paulsen proposed an amendment that would end bailout spending through TARP by the end of 2009. The measure was defeated 37 to 30. Reuters says there is $210 billion remaining in the TARP fund.
Here’s part of the release:
“Taxpayers are tired of the revolving door of bailouts and deficit spending in Washington,” Paulsen said. “The inspector general overseeing the TARP program recently said it will ‘almost certainly’ result in a loss for taxpayers, and yet it is likely the program will extend well into next year. TARP funding is simply becoming walking-around money for the government, and today my colleagues missed an important opportunity to bring this program to a close.”
Under the legislation Congress approved in the fall of 2008, the Troubled Asset Relief Program is set to expire on December 31st of this year. However, the legislation also grants the Administration the right to extend the program until October of 2010, which can be triggered by the Secretary of the Treasury sending a notification letter to Congress. Paulsen’s amendment would have removed the trigger for extending TARP, officially ending the program on December 31st, 2009, and committed the remaining TARP funds to reducing the national debt.
Paulsen also announced he intends to soon introduce stand-alone legislation in the House that will mirror this amendment. Senator John Thune (R-SD) has offered a similar measure in the Senate.