Vitter Issues Statement on Release of Additional TARP Funds
January 12, 2009 –
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter today issued the following statement in response to President Bush’s request to release additional funds under the Troubled Assets Relief Program on behalf of President-elect Obama’s incoming administration. The decision would release the second $350 billion of the $700 billion authorized by Congress last fall in response to the widening financial crisis.
“When I publicly opposed the first bailout back in September, I did so because I was concerned that it would lead us down a slippery slope and encourage further bailouts. By now, it is clear that it has. Since then, we’ve bailed out mismanaged auto companies, and now we are seeing a move in Congress to ensure that the entire $700 billion authorization will be spent.
“Considering the harsh criticism that has accompanied the management of the first half of the $700 billion released by the government, I believe that the release of the other half would be grossly irresponsible. The safeguards that Congress has put in place to prevent the misuse of this money amount to little more than window dressing. I continue to oppose these bailouts, and I believe that responsible action demands some form of oversight.
“Although President Bush has to officially request that Congress release this money, congressional action is not required to release the remainder of these funds. But this process does allow Congress to pass a disapproval resolution to prevent the release of these funds, and I plan on leading an effort that would do just that. Before we write another $350 billion check, we must ensure that the money will be used effectively. We cannot afford – and our kids and grandkids cannot afford – to make any more mistakes,” said Vitter.