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Capuano Praises Obama Announcement On Using TARP To Create Jobs

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Today Congressman Mike Capuano praised President Obama for his announcement that the Administration would take $30 billion in repaid TARP funds for job creation efforts. The announcement came during last night's State of the Union address.

In November, Congressman Capuano wrote to the President, urging him to use excess TARP funds to create jobs. Capuano wrote: "The Treasury Department has reported that $210 billion in TARP funds remain unspent, and they expect banks to repay another $50 billion in the next year. These funds should be used to create jobs building roads and bridges and also in the education, science and health care industries."

In January, Congressman Capuano wrote again to the President, arguing that Public Law 110-343, which created the TARP program, already authorizes him to act without further Congressional authority.

"I was very encouraged last night when I heard President Obama say that repaid TARP funds would be directed to community banks for the specific purpose of providing it to small businesses. They are the lifeblood of our communities and if they cannot hire, or worse, are forced to lay off employees, our economy and our neighborhoods suffer. This policy decision will directly impact employment by providing small businesses with access to funds so they can retain employees and hire additional workers," stated Congressman Capuano. "Unemployment is far too high and jobs are a concern for so many Americans. It is fitting that the government funds used to stabilize Wall Street will now be available to help Main Street. There is no need to wait for additional legislation, let's get this money working now."

The text of Congressman Capuano's November 16, 2009 and January 5, 2010 letters follow:

November 16, 2009

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I urge you to use the remaining funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to create more jobs for struggling Americans. TARP was established to address the financial crisis and an explicit purpose of the program was to use it to protect the wealth, homes and jobs of Americans. As we now face an unemployment rate of 10.2%, I do not believe we can reasonably say that the job of TARP is complete.

In October 2008, when TARP was created, the unemployment rate was 6.6%. This was a very high figure by the standards of the time. Now, only one year later, that number is at a 26 year high. While I believe this number would have been higher if not for TARP, unemployment remains far too high. I believe we must take action and direct the remaining TARP funds towards projects that put more Americans back to work. Millions of people are struggling to make ends meet and are being forced to chose between paying their mortgages, paying their credit card bills, and keeping the lights on in their homes. The purpose of TARP was to provide stability for our financial system, but this will not happen unless we address these tough economic times for so many Americans.

The Treasury Department has reported that $210 billion in TARP funds remain unspent, and they expect banks to repay another $50 billion in the next year. These funds should be used to create jobs building roads and bridges and also in the education, science, and health care industries. Where the economy fails us and businesses are not able to provide new jobs is where the federal government can make a direct difference.

Sincerely,
Michael E. Capuano
Member of Congress

Cc: Secretary Timothy Geithner, U.S. Department of the Treasury

January 5, 2010

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We were pleased to recently hear of your support of using remaining Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to help create jobs for struggling Americans. We urge you to immediately instruct the Secretary of the Treasury to authorize and direct the use of all unused TARP funds, interest paid thereon and other related fees collected through TARP to quickly create and preserve jobs as well as pay down the national debt.

We all know that unemployment, under-employment and fear of unemployment are hurting our citizens and crippling our economy. The economic slide may be ended and there are some signs of improvement. But this stabilization has not come with the creation of enough new jobs. With a national unemployment rate of 10.2%, these funds should be used to put Americans back to work.

Since private enterprise seems frozen for now, the only entity capable of funding job creation is the Federal government. However, we do not have to do it by increasing debt. And there is no need to wait for the Senate to act on H.R. 2847, Jobs for Main Street Act to create these jobs. Pursuant to Section 2 of Public Law 110-343, which created TARP, we believe the following language authorizes you to act without further Congressional authority:

"The purposes of this Act are--

1. to immediately provide authority and facilities that the Secretary of the Treasury can use to restore liquidity and stability to the financial system of the United States; and
2. to ensure that such authority and such facilities are used in a manner that--
1. protects home values, college funds, retirement accounts, and life savings;
2. preserves homeownership and promotes jobs and economic growth;
3. maximizes overall returns to the taxpayers of the United States; and
4. provides public accountability for the exercise of such authority."

In addition, we urge that for each TARP dollar used to create or preserve jobs, one TARP dollar should also be used to pay down the national debt. Every American and our economy are helped by lowering our debt burden. It is our responsibility to protect future generations from having to pay down our debt.

Sincerely,

Michael E. Capuano
Member of Congress

James Langevin
Member of Congress

Cc: Secretary Timothy Geithner, U.S. Department of the Treasury


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