U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today made the following statement regarding her vote to release the remaining funds allocated under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, otherwise known as TARP.
"I voted against the distribution of $700 billion in funds to bailout our nation's financial sector because it offered little accountability and did not address the root of our economic crisis - people losing their jobs and homes. There's no question that our financial markets remain in distress, but the best solution is still to make sure people have jobs and families can afford to stay in their homes. Unfortunately the first $350 billion was mishandled, misused, and did little to help Michigan's families and businesses.
"Three months have gone by since that vote, but little has changed in our economy. Families and businesses across our state continue to struggle. But what has changed is the Administration. I have spoken directly with President-elect Obama and Director-designate Larry Summers who have given me assurances that the second half of these funds will be used to address the underlying problems of our economy. They intend to help families stay in their homes, and get credit flowing again to allow consumers to purchase cars, small businesses to make payroll and students to pay for college. In addition, the full investment needed to help restructure our domestic auto industry will come from these funds.
"They have also guaranteed that these investments will come with transparency, oversight and accountability.
"I am confident that President-elect Obama will use these funds the way they should have been all along - to help middle-class families and create jobs. That is why I voted to approve the funds.
"I look forward to working with the new administration to map out an economic and manufacturing policy that will create jobs and put American families first." - U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow