* Mr. SHERMAN. Madam Speaker, I have cosponsored the Stop Any TARP Extension Act of 2009. The position of the Treasury Department--that it is free to reuse any repaid TARP funds--is entirely contrary to the law. Due to the Department's unwillingness to adhere to the statutory language of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, it is necessary to terminate that Act.
* My office has inquired with the Treasury Department as to whether it possesses any legal opinion justifying the recycling of funds repaid by the banks. It should be noted that the Department has hundreds of lawyers and rarely does anything without a legal opinion, certainly not anything involving hundreds of billions of dollars. The Treasury Department refused to provide any legal opinion to Congress, implying that this is a case where he cannot find even one Department lawyer to reach the conclusion the Department would prefer.
* Terminating TARP today will immediately return more than $300 billion to the general treasury. This will give us the fiscal capacity to take the actions necessary to fight the great recession and get Americans back to work. I voted to enact the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in February and would be willing to support well designed job-creation programs again today.
* A disadvantage of keeping TARP alive is that the administration may select job-creating programs based upon whether they somehow fit a contrived and expanded interpretation of the TARP statute, rather than whether they constitute the best job creation strategy. Once the TARP funds are returned to the treasury, Congress should immediately consider job-creating and recession-fighting bills.