Sen. Carper Votes To Approve Additional Economic Recovery Funds

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement in response to Senate passage late today of a measure releasing $350 billion, the second half of the financial reinvestment and recovery funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) requested by President Bush on behalf of President-Elect Obama.

Last October, the Congress authorized a fund of up to $700 billion to help address the financial crisis facing Delaware and the nation today. The TARP fund, established under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, immediately made $350 billion available, but required the President to ask Congress for the remaining $350 billion.

The Senate and House were required to vote on whether or not to release this second half of the TARP funds.

The U.S. Treasury has used the first $350 billion to directly inject capital into the banking system and to support the domestic auto industry. That action likely prevented further economic harm, but it has not addressed all of the outstanding challenges. This remaining $350 billion may be used to purchase mortgages and other assets that still clog the balance sheets of financial institutions and make it difficult for working families, small businesses and other companies to access credit, vital to a strong and stable economy.

Sen. Carper said:

“No one has been happy with the way the Bush administration handled the first $350 billion.  But given the state of the economy, we can’t afford to deny the incoming Obama administration all the tools it needs to help stabilize our financial system or counter what troubles may lay ahead.   

“President-elect Obama has pledged to the American taxpayers more transparency, oversight and accountability of how and where this second installment of $350 billion is spent. This is why I have voted to release these additional funds.”