January 21, 2010

Crapo Votes To End TARP, Reduce Debt

Amendment comes as Senate considers raising debt ceiling by nearly $2 trillion

Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo cast a vote today to reduce the nation's debt, even as other Senators plan a vote to set new records by raising the debt ceiling by nearly $2 trillion. Crapo voted in favor of an amendment, authored by Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) to the legislation raising the debt ceiling, H.J. Res. 45.

The Thune amendment would have ended the Treasury Department's ability to spend unobligated Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds immediately and would also lower the national debt ceiling to correspond to any repaid TARP assistance after the date of enactment. Despite the support of Crapo and others, the amendment failed on a 53 to 45 vote. The measure required a 60 vote threshold.

"I am disappointed that the Senate failed to end the authority for TARP," Crapo said. "The $700 billion TARP program, which I voted against, has unfortunately turned into a free-for-all for bailouts.

"As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, I am pushing for reforms that modernize and rationalize the federal financial regulatory system to handle the challenges of the 21st century markets, while ensuring American companies can compete," Crapo added. "Done properly, reform will enhance our ability to manage systemic risk, end the 'too big to fail' hazard, and facilitate the capital formation processes that are so necessary for job creation and competiveness."

Today's vote would have amended the larger bill, which if approved, will raise the national debt ceiling to more than $14.3 trillion. Further amendments to reduce spending are also expected. The final vote on the measure to raise the nation's debt limit from $12.4 trillion could be voted on as soon as next week.