Recent Press Releases

Thune Calls for TARP Termination, Not Endless Slush Fund

Only a fraction of the money from the $800 billion stimulus bill has been spent

December 8, 2009

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today reiterated his support for terminating the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to prevent the Treasury Department from spending additional funds that would add to the ballooning national debt.

“Although only a fraction of the money from the nearly $800 billion stimulus bill passed earlier this year has been spent, Democrats in Congress are already looking for ways to spend more,” said Thune. “TARP, which has strayed far from what Congress intended, has been a de facto slush fund for months now, and any proposal to spend these funds on new government programs would make it official. Our national debt is growing at an alarming rate, but Congressional Democrats are more interested in spending taxpayer money and running up our debt than addressing our nation’s long term fiscal health.”

Last month Senator Thune introduced a bill that would prohibit the Treasury Department from extending TARP after it is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2009. The original legislation creating TARP allows the Treasury Secretary to extend the program if it is deemed necessary; Senator Thune’s new bill would strike that portion of the original bill. In June, Senator Thune introduced the Government Ownership Exit Plan Act, which would require the federal government to sell its ownership interests in private companies by the summer of 2010.

“TARP was intended to prevent the collapse of our financial markets. Now that the crisis is behind us, it is time for taxpayer money to be returned and to turn off the spigot to the TARP slush fund.” added Thune.