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Mr. JOHNSON of South Dakota. Mr. President, I want to express my support for S. 3637, a temporary extension of the Transaction Account Guarantee, or TAG, Program.
The program, which is administered by the FDIC for insured depository institutions and the NCUA for credit unions, provides unlimited insurance for non-interest-bearing accounts at banks and credit unions. These transaction accounts are used by businesses, local governments, hospitals, and other nonprofit organizations for payroll and other recurring expenses, and this program provides certainty to businesses in uncertain times.
These accounts are also important to our Nation's smallest financial institutions. In fact, 90 percent of community banks with assets under $10 billion have TAG deposits. This program allows these institutions to serve the banking needs of the small businesses in their communities, keeping deposits local.
In my State of South Dakota, I know that the TAG Program is important to banks, credit unions, and small businesses.
Our Nation's economy is certainly in a different place than it was in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis when this program was created, but with concerns about the fiscal cliff in the United States and continued instability in European markets, I believe a temporary extension is needed. Therefore, I believe that a clean 2-year extension makes the most sense and provides the most certainty for business and financial institutions and also provides time to prepare for the end of the program in 2 years.
I wish to note that this legislation has a cost recovery provision that ensures no taxpayer is on the hook for this insurance. Financial institutions pay for the coverage. This is not and never will be a bailout. This is simply additional insurance paid for by the banks to ensure these accounts remain stable.
I thank Leader Reid for making this issue a priority in the lameduck session. I also thank Senator Sherrod Brown for being a great partner for many months on this important topic. The administration has just issued a SAP in support of TAG, and I ask unanimous consent to have it printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget,
Washington, DC, December 11, 2012.
Statement of Administration Policy
S. 3637--TRANSACTION ACCOUNT GUARANTEE PROGRAM TEMPORARY EXTENSION
(Sen. Reid, D-NV)
The Administration supports Senate passage of S. 3637, which would temporarily extend the unlimited deposit insurance coverage for noninterest-bearing transaction accounts. The Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Program played an important role in maintaining financial stability and banking system liquidity for consumers and businesses during the financial crisis. While the Administration supports a temporary extension of the program, it remains committed to actively evaluating the use of this emergency measure created during extraordinary times and a responsible approach to winding down the program. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to move forward other measures that will support small businesses and accelerate the economic recovery.
Mr. JOHNSON of South Dakota. I ask my colleagues to support the extension of TAG.
I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
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