TARP: Questions Remain on Use of Additional Funds
The American people still don't have assurances that this money will not be wasted or misused to play favorites'
WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday regarding the request for the remaining TARP funding:
"A few months ago, some of the nation's top economic minds came to the Capitol to tell us about an impending crisis. The accumulation of toxic assets at banks here and around the world threatened to paralyze America's economy, jeopardizing the livelihood of millions. Without action, we were told, the nation faced certain calamity.
"For many, the normal impulse would be to let the bad actors who caused this mess face up to their mistakes. But since millions of families and small business owners who did nothing wrong were caught up in the errors of the few, we decided, reluctantly, to approve funding for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - the TARP.
"Fearful of waste and abuse, Republicans insisted on a number of taxpayer protections. We also insisted on releasing the money in two installments, so we could review how the first one was spent before approving the second.
"Yesterday, a request for that second installment was made.
"Throughout this ordeal, I have not wavered on a basic principle: I voted for the first installment on the condition that it be used to prevent a systemic economic collapse affecting every American. And I continue to insist that this money be used for the reason it was first approved.
"The current administration used these funds for the auto industry, a move that I opposed. Now Congressional Democrats are urging more of the same. The American people still don't have assurances that this money will not be wasted or misused to play favorites.
"So far, the incoming administration has not said whether it plans to limit funds to their original purpose or to expand their use to help specific industries. The taxpayers are eager to hear the new administration's plan, and so are Republicans in Congress.
"We'll hear from the incoming administration soon. They will have a receptive, if cautious, audience."