Recent Press Releases

Thune Amendment to End TARP to Receive Vote

Proposal Would End TARP Authority and Repaid Funds Would Lower National Debt Ceiling

January 20, 2010

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today introduced an amendment to the House-passed debt ceiling increase currently before the Senate that would end the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Senator Thune’s amendment would prohibit the Treasury Department from making any further commitments of TARP funds and would mandate that all returned funds be used to lower our national debt.

“The Senate will be voting to raise statutory debt limit to a staggering $14 trillion, making this an ideal time to practice real spending restraint by ending TARP,” said Thune. “My amendment would also require the Treasury Department to use repaid TARP funds to lower our crushing debt, not use them as a slush fund for pet political projects. TARP has strayed too far from its intended purpose, and it is time for Congress to take action and shut it down.”

On Christmas Eve, the Senate voted 60-39 to increase the debt ceiling by $290 billion to $12.394 trillion. Even though the $290 billion increase to the debt limit was signed into law at the end of December, there is now a measure before the Senate that would raise the debt limit by another $1.9 trillion, this time to $14.294 trillion.

Recently, the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP released their January Oversight Report and the Panel noted that although TARP authority ends on October 3, 2010, any funds committed by that date, but not yet spent can still be spent under TARP past this deadline. This could create an indefinite time period for expenditures through TARP, creating a dangerous situation where Treasury bureaucrats could go on a late night spending spree on October 3, 2010 committing funds that will eventually have to be borrowed and added to our national debt, perhaps years down the road.

Last summer, Senator Thune also introduced the Government Ownership Exit Plan Act (S. 1242). The Government Ownership Exit Plan would end TARP authority and require the federal government to sell all the ownership interests in private companies that it has acquired through TARP.