U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today issued the following statement regarding the news that the U.S. Treasury Department plans to sell the roughly 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup stock which were acquired during the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
Senator Gregg stated, "Today's announcement that Treasury will sell its shares of Citigroup is good news for the taxpayer and further proof that the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) worked as intended. This sale could result in a profit of nearly $7.5 billion, and these funds, by law, must go to pay down our massive federal debt that currently rings in at $12.7 trillion. However, just because we have further evidence that the TARP program has helped stabilize the financial system at minimal cost to taxpayers, that is no excuse for the Administration to continue to invent new uses for TARP funds that have little chance of succeeding and are guaranteed to be a total loss for taxpayers. TARP should not serve as the Obama piggy bank in order to fund the Administration's endless desire to spend taxpayer dollars.
"In February, the Obama Administration committed $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to a vaguely worded effort aimed at slowing housing foreclosures to only five states. Just this afternoon, they tacked on another $600 million to the program for an additional five states: Ohio, Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina and Oregon. The TARP law requires that any repaid funds go to reduce the debt, and the Administration should follow this law."