January 13th, 2009
03:27 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama issues veto threat, senators say

ALT TEXT

Obama met with Senate Democrats on the Hill Tuesday (Getty Images)

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama tried to convince Senate Democrats to get behind his plan for the second half of the $700 billion bailout, warning he would veto a threatened disapproval resolution, according to senators who met with him.

Obama on Monday asked President Bush to inform Congress of his intent to use the remaining balance under the Treasury Department's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Bush sent a request to Congress on behalf of the incoming administration.

Obama met with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill to make his case for how he wants to spend the funds and to rally support for his economic stimulus plan.

Obama attended the weekly lunch of Democratic senators in what was his final visit to the Senate before his inauguration next week.

Obama took about 15 questions, many of which were from Democrats skeptical of TARP, senators in the meeting said. Obama repeatedly promised to make the process more transparent, they said.

Republicans and Democrats have said they were upset by how the Treasury Department spent the first allotment of $350 billion.

Those voicing concerns said they don't feel like there was enough accounting for where the money went. Some Democrats also said homeowners facing foreclosure aren't getting enough help.

Obama made clear that he doesn't want to issue a veto as one of his first actions in office, but he insisted that he has no choice, senators said.

Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the banking committee, reminded fellow Democrats what a bad political situation it would be to pass the disapproval resolution and force Obama use his veto pen on that as one of his very first acts, senators said.

While some Democrats said they felt more comfortable after meeting with Obama, others said they still have a lot of questions and are still unsure how they will vote on TARP.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, and his House Financial Services Committee met Tuesday to look at how the TARP money has been spent so far.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Larry, Hazleton, Pa

    For me to support the 350 billion left – I would need a absolute iron clad agreemnt for total transperency – not just a maybe or we will do our best – IRON CLAD or no money.............PERIOD

    January 13, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Ellen in Ohio

    Not even president yet and he's already threatening veto? This sounds like Bush!

    January 13, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. legal in nc

    Not surpising that if he doesn't get his way he'll veto considering that while in Chicago if he couldn't beat his opponents he would make sure they had to drop out of the race.

    Remember Harry,, stick to your guns you don't work for the President!!

    The American people want to know where there money is going not like the last $350 billion.

    January 13, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Melissa

    Umm... wow. I've never seen a President so firmly take the reigns so soon. He's obviously sick of the stupid games that are being played in politics recently.

    Good for him. He's willing to do what it takes.

    January 13, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. dr.mimi de la cruz

    THEY GOT BEHIND BUSH WHEN HE WENT TO WAR WITH IRAQ.

    IF THEY WANT TO BE REELECTED, THEY BEST HELP US GET

    OUT OF THE CRAP HOLE THEY & BUSH PUT THIS NATION IN.

    January 13, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Beverly, NYC

    Republicans and Democrats have only themselves to blame for how the first portion of the bailout was handled. I wish I could walk into a bank with a 3 page proposal and have them give me 350 billion without oversite. Hank Paulson can sell snow to Alaska and make them think they're getting a deal. Cone on Congress act like grown ups for once. What wrong with asking those who receive funds to maintain those funds in a seperate interest bearing account and report semi-annually how the funds are spent. And tell them exactly what the funds cannot be used for ( bonuses, golden parachutes, resort junkets) any one found in violation can retunn the taxpayers $, or opt out if they can't abide by the restrictions. I never again want to hear that a company is too big too fail.

    January 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Steve

    It is only the 13th and veto threats already? Wow! Can we wait until the 20th before the drama? The next four years will be interesting as to who the real leadership is: Obama or Reid/Pelosi!

    January 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Patty in the CA mountains

    If they were/are truly upset about the lack of oversight and accountability on the original money they THEY should have not voted for it and/or made sure the restrictions were included at that time. Believe me, those of us out here in the real world, are more than upset about the lack of reporting required by the banks this money was given to. To complain now is simply being a blow-hard.

    January 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Boston Irish

    Apparently things are not running as smoothly as Obama expected. The way I look at it, if the Democrats don't approve of his plan, then it is their duty to vote it down. It is NOT their duty to go along with what Obama wants simply because it would make him look bad. I don't think he's going to need help with that as he will manage to do that all on his little lonesome.

    January 13, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Anna Finnerly

    Obomber and the Dem congress are going to screw around with Americans' money until they run us into a Great/Great Depression. That won't be fun.

    January 13, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Laverne

    Do what you have to do Obama, you are in charge!

    January 13, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Proud American

    Check out the guy to the far right. Very suspect looking... hmmm

    January 13, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. David

    It's a shame that the blood between Congress and executive branch is one of no trust thinks George.

    January 13, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Kaye

    I am glad that the President-elect is taking a hard stance on the balance of the TARP funds. I feel the federal government should be able to account for every penny of the money already allocated. To mislead the American people by stating they don't know how the money is being allocated, is ridiculous. They need to demand from the financial institutions a full accounting for the taxpayer money they were graced with. If the banks won't give an accounting, pull the funds out and let them sink, just like they are allowing so many Americans to sink.

    January 13, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Former Republican

    JUST A REMINDER, WE WILL CROSS STATE LINES

    IN ORDER TO DEFEAT, REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT OR

    INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES THAT PURSUE PARTISAN POLITICS

    INSTEAD OF HELPING OUR NEW PRESIDENT SOLVE THIS

    NATION'S MANY PROBLEMS. WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO VOTE

    IN YOUR STATE BUT WE CAN KNOCK ON DOORS FOR MONTHS.

    ALL PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS TO DO IS GIVE US THE WORD.

    January 13, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. MD

    Veto threat?! OMG, I bet the democrats are so very scared. Ha..ha..ha...

    January 13, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Jesse Allen in Oregon

    Banks are going to take our money anyway. The American public wants one condition on use of the remaining T.A.R.P. balance. No more overdraft fee's, no more overdraft fee's, no more overdraft fee's!

    January 13, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Peace.....

    Someone is very upset after coming out of that meeting. Take a look at the man face that is standing to the left of Mr. Obama in the back.

    Good!

    Go get them Mr. President.

    January 13, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Darko

    So who's right? Obama? Congress? The Public?

    No one knows for sure, but I don't think that the govt SPENDING our money is a good way to stimulate the economy. How about they let US spend OUR money?

    January 13, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Boston Irish

    I am really getting fed up with CNN Ticker. All the comments I make are "Awaiting Moderation". I don't know if this is relevant or not, but I'm not an Obama supporter at all, but I am not rude and nasty with my comments, just not pro Obama.

    January 13, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. renee from oakland

    loooollll......hw funny
    he's already threatening a veto before he's inaugurated
    the senators are reasonably concerned for obvious reasons
    they SHOULD be very weary of squandering another $350 billion

    January 13, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Sylvia

    Go President Elect Obama!!!! You have the power and I know you will use it well.

    January 13, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Meka

    Some of President-elect Obama's Transition Team were appointed to over-see the distribution of the first 350 Billion, BUT, were not allowed to Interject!

    January 13, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Veto-man

    Obama all veto and no change.............and down the tube we go...

    and who is to blame.....????

    January 13, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Mike in Philly

    Good going, Democrats. With all the blunders of your party, you should be thanking your lucky stars that you got into office. I love Barack Obama but I believe his win would have been a real squeaker (or may not have even happened) were it not for the economic crisis. So actually, you can thank your lucky stars and the crappy economy.

    However, now that he's in office, many of you have decided to act against his first order of business and make a real shady display right out of the gate.

    Way to make yourselves look just as incompetent as the GOP.

    January 13, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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