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January 12th, 2009 (Modified on February 23rd, 2009)

Bush Seeks TARP Funds for Obama



President Bush agreed this morning to seek the second half of the TARP funds for President-elect Obama. Once President Bush officially requests the remaining $350 billion, Congress will have 15 days to decide whether or not to release the cash. New spending strategies are expected to accompany the money if Congress votes in favor of releasing it. While the Treasury Department diverged from the TARP’s original approach, it may evolve even more under the new administration:

…Obama and his fellow Democrats want more of the money to go directly to consumers struggling with a wave of home foreclosures and stricter limits to be imposed on those who receive the aid.

The letter [of assurances], which could come from Obama or his incoming Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, should address foreclosure mitigation, bank lending practices, compensation for executives of firms receiving the aid, and accountability standards, Senate Democrats said on Sunday.

Let’s hope that prior to releasing another $350 billion of taxpayer money, lawmakers will enact much more stringent rules and strategies to ensure that this half is spent much more effectively than the first.

How should the new administration best utilize the remaining TARP funds?

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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