House passes Paulsen TARP oversight bill
September 16th, 2009 – 9:22 AM by Eric Roper
Last night, the House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Rep. Erik Paulsen which requires the TARP program’s oversight body to determine how its funds are affecting small businesses. It is Paulsen’s first standalone bill to make it through the House.
Under the bill, the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program must factor small businesses into its periodic audits and reports to Congress, looking specifically at whether funds are available to small businesses and if they are having an impact. Paulsen helped co-author legislation earlier this year which granted more authority to the TARP oversight body.
TARP is widely known for aiding large businesses, but Paulsen said in a statement that there should be more focus on smaller institutions.
“Rather than adhering to a ‘too big to fail’ mentality, this bill seeks to strengthen our small businesses by examining their opportunities to access needed credit,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen has faced the obvious obstacles of a Republican freshman in a Democrat-led Congress. Though the House has passed several of Paulsen’s amendments, the TARP legislation marks the first time an individual bill he sponsored has been approved.