Ryan: Additional TARP Funds Cannot Be Justified
Earlier today, Wisconsin's 1st District Congressman Paul Ryan voted to prohibit the release of the second half of funds allocated for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). As a result of Ryan's efforts this past October to craft a much improved financial rescue package, Congress has the power to disapprove of the second half of the $700 billion TARP funds if it feels they are not needed or would not be used effectively.
Today's disapproval resolution (H.J. Res. 3) comes on the heels of yesterday's passage of H.R. 384, which shifted TARP's original purpose from addressing the systemic risk in the financial system to picking the winners and losers in the marketplace. H.R. 384 expands the Treasury Department's authority to distribute TARP funds, while adding new provisions unrelated to financial stabilization efforts. By altering the original intent of the financial rescue package, today's disapproval resolution was all the more important.
Despite today's bipartisan House vote to prohibit the release of the additional funds, failure to do the same in the U.S. Senate will allow the final $350 billion to be released to the Treasury Department. Arguing that such action cannot be justified, Ryan issued the following statement:
"My fear is that the second $350 billion in TARP funding will go far beyond the original mission of preserving overall financial market stability, and instead will be used to fund a heavy-handed, neo-industrial policy. Various industries have already marshaled their lobbyists for a claim on these public dollars. And now that the Federal Reserve has additional authority to address a financial crisis, this funding is no longer justified."