December 3rd, 2009
03:14 PM ET
9 months ago

House Democrats want to use bailout money to pay for jobs

Washington (CNN) - House Democrats said Thursday they're planning to use money intended to bail out banks, Wall Street and other financial institutions to pay for their jobs bill, a package they aim to vote on by the end of the
year.

"I think the TARP funds are appropriately used to create jobs to reduce the deficit," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, referring to the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

It's unclear if the proposal would tap unused TARP funds or money repaid to the Treasury by banks who got bailout money. Democratic sources say leaders are discussing those details with the Obama administration.

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have been looking at a series of proposals to address the record unemployment numbers in recent weeks and are now focusing on an initial package that Congress could vote on before leaving for the holiday break.

But the speaker stressed that "this is not the be-all" and said Congress will work on a broader economic proposal early next year.

The major piece of the Democrats' jobs package is a continuation of the centerpiece of the stimulus bill enacted earlier this year - investments in infrastructure such as water projects, high-speed rail programs, and retrofitting buildings with energy-efficient technologies. But, Pelosi argued, "this is not my father's public works program."

House Republican Leader John Boehner immediately rejected the idea, saying that bailout money was meant only for emergencies. "This idea that we're going to take this money that's being paid back to the government and then turn around and spend it on useless government programs is a very big mistake," he said.

Democrats also want to funnel money to pay directly for local needs that struggling state governments have been unable to support, such as more police, teachers, and emergency response personnel, according to several Democratic leadership sources.

In addition to the infrastructure spending, Democrats plan to extend unemployment assistance, pay for food stamps, and renew health care benefits for Americans whose coverage is expiring at the end of the year. But while the bailout money would be tapped to pay for the new infrastructure and jobs program components, Democrats do not plan to use it to pay for the extension of these benefits, according to these sources.

House Democrats met Thursday morning to discuss the size of a package that they could pass this year but no decisions were made. Pelosi told members she was still talking to the White House about it. But representatives agreed that if they are to vote on it this year it would need to be tacked onto the must-pass spending measure that funds the government.

"There's real urgency in our caucus to do something before Christmas," said one Democratic leadership aide.


Filed under: Democrats • Economy • House • TARP
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. chill

    Boehner apparently thinks that jobs for Main Street are a "useless government program".

    December 3, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. shmeckel

    What is the rush? You guys only waited this long. by the time you tards in Washington get a bill, the economy and jobs will start recovering on their own, oh wait then you can take credit for something.

    You guys are doing a great job, why don’t you wait until jobless rate falls for 5 weeks straight then act like you are doing something for the unemployed. No matter what you do now (including nothing) the job situation will start getting better.

    Not only that but every idea that you just gave will takes months to years to start; To build something you must first design it, the get building approval, bid it out, award contracts, coordinate, and then you build.

    Why do you think Obama will always have a good argument for the stimulus? His schedule for the stimulus was supposed to start working at the same time the economy would have recovered on its own. Now when the economy pick up next year he will say “see I told you the stimulus would start working in 1 1/2 to 2 years”.

    December 3, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. U.S. Common Sense

    First of all, it is not the job of the Congress to create jobs.

    With that being said, you still have 75% of the funds set aside from the stimulus package that you've yet to spend. Why not spend that first before you start asking for even more.

    Or better yet, quit wasting our money and driving us further into debt.

    December 3, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. max

    watch out the party of NO, repugs WILL stand in the way of anything that makes sense ...

    December 3, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. mjm

    $787 billion couldn't buy us any jobs?

    What happened to that "stimuless" money and why didn't we learn our lesson? We were told that the $787 billion was a jobs bill. It was going to create all this infrastructure, shovel ready jobs....Not so much.

    If Democrats can't create jobs spending $787 billion, then they need to shut their pie holes and listen to Republicans like Mitt.

    Liberal democrats are the worst thing to ever happen to the Democratic party.

    Enough with the spending.

    December 3, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. David

    So Boehner and the rest of the GOP complain Obama and the Democrats aren't doing enough in term of job creation and when they do, they just say NO. The only thing they support is tax cuts. We had tax cuts with Bush. How well did that work out for us? We doubled the national debt and produced the worst recession since the Great Depression.

    December 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. bess

    NO!!!
    what a dumb, dumb idea.

    December 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. HUGO

    Hmmmm, tax dollars for jobs, yes, I can see how it would expand government employees with government jobs but I fail to see how this generates COMMERCE that then generate tax dollars.... The typical bureaucrat way of thinking that have NEVER earned an honest dollar for an honest days work! Party at the Whitehouse, invitation only, nice orchestrated deception from what is going down in the House and Senate....

    December 3, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. buckwheat

    You can bet a Democrat will find some way to spend any money we have left over even if it is in the class of the cash for clunkers. Government creates deficits not jobs. Private money creates jobs.Government did not have any money till they took it from you.

    December 3, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. priorities

    sure, use bailout money to create jobs
    quit pushing for higher education and bring back apprenticeships
    get out of Afghanistan war. get out of WAR altogether.
    take the profit out of health care
    clean up the corruption in the medicare system, the justice system, the political arena
    quit building multi-million dollar sports arenas and focus on eliminating poverty and oppression
    quit letting the media and entertainment venues serve as distraction
    don't allow government to appeal to your sense of fear or patriotism
    real change begins from the bottom up. . . . one person at a time

    December 3, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. RichP the Pocono's

    Here's a wild thought, how about giving the money back to the taxpayers.
    How about -0- interest loans and grants to start up business's.
    How about using it to subsidize solar power for the homeowner.
    Nah, that might actually work, create long term jobs in manufacturing, sales, installations and service and end the crisis which to democrats and republicans alike is their bread and butter.

    December 3, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. S M R

    The Republican's want us to use bailout funds with NO REGULATION

    December 3, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Rickster

    What a bunch of lying, cheating, know-nothing amateurs we have running the government.....in other words, typical democrats. I thought all that TARP money was so drastically needed to save the world from the brink of destruction? And I thought this idiotic president and his lunatic co-conspirators in congress spent almost a trillion dollars to create jobs? Can we have a do-over with the election? These people are awful.

    December 3, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. S M R

    You are right bill: Government doesn't creat jobs, government kills jobs. Thanks Bush!!!

    December 3, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Beyond the government, where exactly do all of you Obama bashers want him to create jobs?

    I might be going out on a limb here, but if government jobs isn't the answer, where exactly in the private sector does Mr. Obama have the authority to create additional jobs?

    Take your whining to the businesses and CEO's who have caused this unemployment disaster. Get Romney to go with you. He's an expert in job reduction classifications.

    December 3, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. NC

    Face reality people some of the jobs will never come back. It is not the government's fault, it is greedy CEO'S. Why hire more people when you have 1 person doing 3-5 jobs. Companies have cut back and are making a profit doing more with less.

    December 3, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Terry from West Texas

    What? Americans have no jobs and no money to pay for food? Then let them eat cake, say Conservatives. Are there no poorhouses? Have the prisons closed? Don't you realize that some of our CEOs have private jets that are more than a year old? Where are your priorities?

    December 3, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. AJ

    This is what they should have been using the money for to begin with. Instead they chose to bail out companies that had been poorly managed and raped by executives.

    December 3, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Nevada dude

    I would say that is a good idea if it was in the form of loans for small businesses. otherwise it gets swallowed up by the big corporations.

    I for one am past the point of blaming–no one is right on either side of the argument anyways! I just want things to get done and get this country moving again

    December 3, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Tina

    With all the millions that WH, Pelosi and Reid spent and continue to spend on travel and expences and food and leisure, they need more money as they are running out of funds and the American funds and wallets are all empty to contribute to Obama, Pelosi and Reid's luxuries.

    December 3, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Congress passed a bill (TARP), like it or not, that was for a bail out of Wall Street. Now they want to spend the money on something else. These are the same people who want to pass a Health bill, start collecting money now, and enact the bill in 4 years, but promise that money won't be used for anything else. This is what's wrong with Washington DC.

    December 3, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. S M R

    And the Republican solution is what? That's what I thought.

    December 3, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. bill

    The private sector hires people and all Obama wants to do is raise taxes.

    Healthcare= More taxes
    Cap and Trade = More taxes

    The problem is people think the are owed everthing on a gold platter.
    Look at Detroit is that the way you want this country to be.

    Keep up your social justice and all you will ever receive is welfare.

    December 3, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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