Paulsen Works to End Bailout Program by End of Year

Minnesota Congressman offers amendment in Financial Services Committee to end bailout spending, use remaining dollars to pay down federal debt

Washington, D.C. – During legislative markup in the House Financial Services Committee today, Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) offered a proposal to end bailout spending through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) by the end of 2009 and use remaining funds to reduce the national debt. Paulsen’s proposal, offered as an amendment to the Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009, was unfortunately rejected on close committee vote of 30-37.

“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.

For more information on Paulsen’s work in Congress, please visit www.paulsen.house.gov.
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