Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blunt Votes Against Releasing Additional Taxpayer Funds, Supports Accountability Report

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt today voted against releasing the second installment of funds under the government's financial rescue package, called the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

"Congress passed a financial rescue package with taxpayer protections last year but that package has become nothing more than a bailout," Blunt said. "I agree with the majority of Americans and Missourians that we cannot release the second installment of taxpayer funds."

The House voted on a "resolution of disapproval," meaning Blunt's yes vote would block access to the bailout funds.

Blunt yesterday voted for an amendment requiring the Treasury Department to obtain information from TARP fund recipients on how the money was allocated and conduct an analysis on the use of the funds. The original package passed by Congress, and negotiated with Treasury officials, contained taxpayer protections and outlined how the funds could be used. The Treasury Department, however, used the funds in ways not intended or discussed during negotiations.

"I am disappointed that the administration of this program has failed in its most basic goal of granting more credit for deserving families and businesses," Blunt said. "There has been too much irresponsibility in the management of the first installment and I believe the Treasury owes it to the American taxpayers to disclose how their money was spent.

"The second half of these funds will ultimately be used. I hope that it is used for the program's original intent and not as an unaccountable handout that doesn't do what we intended to help our economy."

Under the guidelines of the package Congress passed last year, both the House and Senate would have to pass the disapproval resolution for additional funds to be stopped. The Senate has already voted to allow the release of the second TARP installment.

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