January 15, 2009

Crapo Votes Against Releasing Unspent $350 Billion Of TARP Funding

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted in favor of a resolution today disapproving the release of the remaining $350 billion under the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP); citing a lack of responsible use of taxpayer dollars. By a vote of 42-51, the Senate rejected S.J. Res. 5, the TARP Resolution of Disapproval, which would have denied the Administration's request for the release of the funds. Crapo was one of 25 Senators who voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 last October, which authorized the Treasury Department to spend up to $700 billion to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions.

"I am disappointed that we did not take this opportunity to establish an overall strategy and make sure that we are protecting the taxpayers and stopping irresponsible taxpayer buyouts of troubled businesses," said Crapo, a member of the Senate Banking Committee. "Rather than simply providing another $350 billion check, Congress should have taken the time and leadership to establish clear guidelines for how these taxpayer dollars would stabilize our markets and provide lending to our economy."

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Treasury Department has failed to address a number of critical issues while implementing the $700 billion financial rescue plan, including how to ensure that its efforts are successful.

"I continue to hear from a wide range of enterprises in Idaho that normal access to credit continues to be difficult," Crapo added. "Therefore, it is important that we continue aggressive efforts to stabilize financial markets and increase the availability of credit. It is essential that we do this right and I remain committed to helping find the proper path forward."

In order for Congress to deny the release of the money, both Houses would need to pass a disapproval resolution that would have to be signed by the President.