Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today introduced a bill that would prohibit the Treasury Secretary from extending the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) beyond its current December 31, 2009 expiration date. The original legislation creating TARP allows the Treasury Secretary to extend the program without additional Congressional consent until October 3, 2010; Senator Thune's legislation, the TARP Sunset Act of 2009, repeals this provision.

"Congress created TARP to help relieve the credit crisis that threatened our economy last year, but instead of using the program for its intended purpose, the Treasury Department has bought ownership interests in auto manufacturers, insurance companies, and hundreds of financial institutions," said Thune. "Now is the time to end this program to ensure that additional taxpayer dollars are not wasted since TARP has devolved into a slush fund for the Administration."

Two months ago, Senator Thune and 39 of his colleagues sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, urging that he not extend TARP beyond this year. However, the Treasury Secretary has yet to respond to this bipartisan request. A recent report from the Special Inspector General for TARP indicates that over $317 billion remains unobligated out of the $700 billion program.

In June, Senator Thune also introduced the Government Ownership Exit Plan Act, which requires the federal government to sell its shares in private companies by the summer of 2010.

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Bob Bennett (R-UT), Kit Bond (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Ensign (R-NV), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Charles Grassley (R-IA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and David Vitter (R-LA).