Tonight, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) broke with the Democratic Party and voted against H.R. 2847, to prevent $75 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds from being used to pay for additional spending. Congressman Murphy has argued that any unspent or repaid TARP funds should be used to pay down our nation's deficit, particularly any of the high-interest debt held by China and other foreign nations.
In a December 8th letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi authored by Congressman Murphy and signed by ten other Blue Dog and moderate Democrats, Murphy argued that the $200 billion in authorized but currently unspent TARP funds should be used in an effort to pay down our deficit, and that "new proposals [seeking] to reallocate these funds for other purposes" would be a violation of this responsibility. Additionally, Rep. Murphy noted that in testimony before the House Budget Committee this summer, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated that "even as we take steps to address the recession and threats to financial stability, maintaining the confidence of the financial markets requires that we, as a nation, begin planning now for the restoration of fiscal balance."
"I voted against my party on this bill because it uses bailout money to pay for new spending, and that's just wrong," said Rep. Murphy. "TARP funds were to be used only to prevent irrevocable harm to our financial system, so any money returned by Wall Street must be used to pay off high-interest debt held by China, not for new government spending."