Lucas Votes Against Distribution of Second Half of the Bailout Money

Jan 22, 2009

Washington, DCToday, Congressman Lucas voted in favor of H.J. Res. 3, a bill that would prohibit the Department of Treasury from having access to the second half of the funding for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), also known as the bailout bill. 

“As with the initial $350 billion, we have been given no specific details of exactly how the second half of the bailout money will be spent or evidence that it will actually help the economy,” stated Lucas.  “The American people deserve to know where their money is being spent before the Department of Treasury spends it.”

TARP was a controversial piece of legislation that passed Congress late last in an effort to aid the country’s financial markets during their recent turmoil.  As its name denotes, the bill established a fund to be used to purchase troubled assets in an effort to return liquidity to the market and encourage investment.  Instead, Treasury used the money to purchase stock in the largest financial institutions, which are located primarily on the east and west coast. 

“After the Treasury Department blatantly disregarded the instructions of Congress and the American people with the first $350 billion of the bailout money, I could not hand them another blank check,” stated Lucas.  “Congress must stop trying to borrow and spend our way back to a strong economy.  It simply does not work and is a waste of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.” 

The bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 270-155 but failed in Senate by a vote of 42-52.  In order to withhold the money, both houses would have had to vote to disallow the second allocation.

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