It’s a rare day when critics from the conservative Heritage Foundation and the liberal Campaign for America’s Future agree on anything. But the Treasury Department’s Wall Street bailout fund, the TARP, has finally built a bridge between them.
“Congress should say no to any request to use the second half of TARP funds,” Stuart Butler writes at the Heritage Foundation’s website. “Only $15 billion of the first half of the TARP funds ($350 billion) remain uncommitted. If Secretary Paulson or the incoming Treasury secretary wishes to use the second $350 billion, the Administration must give notice to Congress, which then has 15 calendar days to pass a joint resolution of disapproval to deny use of the money. If such a request is presented, it should be denied.”
“Congress can reject the Bush administration’s request to release the next $350 billion instalment of no-strings-attached bailout money for Wall Street, if that request happens,” David Sirota of CAF writes at the Huffington Post.
To be sure, Heritage and the CAF have different reasons for opposing the bailout. Butler believes the TARP is ineffective and suffering from “mission creep,” expanding into areas it was never intended. Sirota thinks the TARP should come with many more regulatory strings attached. But both agree: the TARP is broken.