December 4th, 2009
06:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama leaning towards support for TARP funds to pay for jobs bill

Obama leaning towards support for TARP funds to pay for jobs bill.

Obama leaning towards support for TARP funds to pay for jobs bill.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama is leaning towards supporting a Congressional Democratic plan to craft a jobs bill by using untapped bailout funds, according to two senior officials familiar with the deliberations.

The officials stressed that no final decision has been made by the president, but they noted he is likely to flesh out more details on the emerging economic package next Tuesday during a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington. This new package is expected to be much smaller than the original $787 billion stimulus plan because of cost concerns at a time of deep government deficits.

Democrats on Capitol Hill and at the White House are considering a jobs package that would include funding for infrastructure projects, direct lending to small businesses and aid to cash-strapped states.

Using the untapped TARP funds has become an attractive option for Democrats, because it would not increase the budget deficit since those funds are already allocated. Republicans have been attacking the president for already sharply increasing federal spending during his first year in office.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Friday hinted to reporters that Obama is "likely" to discuss the use of untapped bailout funds in Tuesday's speech. "The President thinks we should and must do everything in our power to create an environment for job growth and job creation," he said.

In addition, Democrats are considering a separate emergency spending package that would increase the deficit because the money has not yet been allocated. That package would include extended unemployment benefits, COBRA health benefits for people who have lost jobs, and food stamps.

Filed under: Economy • President Obama • TARP
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    The Dems are just as guilty of shipping jobs NAFTA which started this mess and the housing bills that forced banks to lend to more people were Democratic bills not republican. I am a democrat who is tired of Bush Bashing from a party who bares just as much if not more of the blame for this. Read more than the ticker and you might realize siding with either group is the problem. Vote with your mind not your party.

    December 4, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. mjm

    "Using the untapped TARP funds has become an attractive option for Democrats, because it would not increase the budget deficit since those funds are already allocated. "

    OMG!....I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. The democrats never met a tax dollar they didn't want to spend. They have an opportunity to pay down the debt, and they decide to spend money instead.

    This is after they spent $787 billion to "create jobs"....How'd that work out for us? The government does not create jobs, it simply spends money and devalues the dollar.

    I know it’s hard for you libs to understand because you don’t understand the difference between a private job and a government job….and I don’t want to give big mike Dallas whiplash trying to explain it.

    Ok...Meka....We'll all be quit now and let the libs work their magic.

    December 4, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. midwest liberal

    this is a brilliant idea. and i think it wouldn't hurt to redirect some stimulus bill money into it also. we will recover, thanks in part to a president who doesn't have his head in the sand. nice to have have someone in the white house who's on the ball for a change.

    December 4, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  4. Joe M

    He needs to do some thing besides sitting on his butt and flying around the world every month...He thinks AF-1 is his personnel taxi. 2012 cant get here soon enough to get rid of this guy..

    December 4, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  5. Matt

    Amazing that only a small portion of the "Stimulus" has been spent. You know Obama's brilliant plan to save jobs but has actually cost us jobs. This idiot does not want to use that money for jobs. So what exactly was if for Obama?

    Obama is an idiot learn to accept it.

    December 4, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. bob jones

    Repugs just need to be quiet and let Obama fix the mess they have gotten us into. They shouldn't have the nerve to say anything!

    December 4, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. German,Irish American

    Let me get this straight. The first stimulus is about half spent and has failed miserably, with 3.6 million jobs lost and counting, and the libs now want to take the 350 billion that Bush didn't spend, plus another bogus stimulus? The stupidity of Obama is astounding. Either he is completely clueless with his low intellect, or he is intentionally trying to drive this country into bankruptcy and complete socialism.

    December 4, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. John

    Well, looks like the truth about the dems are finally coming out. Look at the mess we are in and all the lofty promises that have yet to be fulfilled. It's rather unfortunate to have such an "unskilled" and "unexperienced" individual managing one of the most pivotal times in american history.

    Glad I did not vote for the guy and sorry to see so many others who does not see this administration as the false prophets. At least republicans get stuff flip flops (no pun intended towards the ketchup king kerry)

    Thanks for mortgaging our futures off to China Mr. Obama. You've created a wonderful cluster of debt for children and grandchildren to come. I hope this next election, we have some "real" choices and not yesterday's news and hype.

    December 4, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. Jenn, Philadelphia

    They haven't even spent all the stimulus package money yet, now they want to use the rest of TARP. If they didn't need all of the TARP money or all of the stimulus package money, why don't they give us taxpayers a refund? It's our money, they've continually proven they are incapable of spending it wisely. Give it back, we'll use it to stimulate the economy ourselves.

    December 4, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. Perusing-through

    Just Do It!

    December 4, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  11. Albo58

    Just throwing more money at temporary political paybacks with absolutely no long term planning at all! This President and his Congressional drones has no clue about solving unemployment because none have really ever had a job other than political office in their lives.

    December 4, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. Dale

    How about we get our heads out of our behinds and put an end to this unfair trading with other countries especially China.

    How about we bring back manual labor jobs that this country needs so desperately?

    How about we Americans demand more from our leaders and tell them we demand that they work for the people that elected their sorry a*ses?

    Forget tarp money to pay for jobs, let's just get OUR JOBS BACK before it's too late. It's coming fast.

    December 4, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one)


    I guess the outsourcing of jobs suddenly stopped when Obama became president? Just know that Republicans will "keep quiet "in the same manner liberals kept quiet under Bush...You didn't then, we won't now. Get over it!

    December 4, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. Bill

    Just because the funds are allocated doesn't mean they've already increased the deficit. The deficit is truly increased when the money is SPENT. Why don't we just put it back in our pocket as if it were never "allocated"?

    December 4, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. jules sand-perkins

    Make-work jobs won't fix this economy. Created jobs are as lies, just as laboratory-created rubies are, and they represent another version of the Robin Hood tale.
    FDR's created jobs did not end the Depression, as much as we like to think that roughly made ("artistic") cane baskets and "interesting" clay pots fixed our economic woes. World War II did that.
    It was a war we could believe in.
    Maybe we need another war we can believe in now. The trouble is, after the Flower Children and the 1960s Revolution, most of our citizens don't believe in going to war for any reason other than "nation building."
    Maybe they would support a Crusade to save pagans from sexual misconduct–who knows?
    In any case, socialistic basket weaving will not fix our economy.

    December 4, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  16. aware

    I am one disgusted Independent. Obama doesn't have a clue but he keeps on digging! 😦

    Roll on 2010 & 2012. 🙂

    December 4, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  17. mavcal

    Wait a minute – didn't Obama promise this country 3 million jobs this last year? And now he comes up with a plan? You mean he had no plan just a big mouth? GIving American's false promises to ingratiate himself, to aggrandize himself – no wonder his polls numbers are heading south. This is becoming the bait and switch presidency.

    December 4, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  18. Pat Pittsburgh

    When TARP was first passed, didn't all the politicians say that the TARP funds would be paid back by the banks? I remember some even claiming the government might actually make money from the interest on the loans to the bank. (like anyone believed that) How would using the funds for another stimulus get paid back?

    December 4, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  19. jules sand-perkins

    If you don't have a job, make one for yourself.
    Find out what people HAVE to have, or what they irrationally want to have, and provide it.
    This has NOTHING to do with Obama, Palin, or the government.

    December 4, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  20. KELLY

    Republicans, the party of "NO", will dig their heels in against anything that improves the lives of Americans. The GOP is so set on fialure and hatred they won't pass anything.

    December 4, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  21. Elyne

    Republicans will stall, stall, stall, stall. stall, stall, stall, stall, stall, stall, stall and stall some more. It's just the GOP way!!

    December 4, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  22. Greg in MO

    Dealing with this economy is the fault of the republicans? Have you never taken a high school economics course that explains a free market economy runs in cycles? A little history:
    Retraction: 08 – 09
    Expansion: 03 – 07
    Retraction: 00 – 01
    Expansion 92 – 99
    Retraction 90 – 91
    If it looks like a cycle and behaves like a cycle...

    As far as bank bailouts, the federal government should not support any welfare as it is the job of the states – laid out in Admendment 10 of the U.S. Constitution.
    You think all these federal government programs such as healthcare are wonderful now but, eventually Obama will be out of office and you don't know who will be in there with the power you have surrendered to them.
    Think about that next time you want give the federal government control.

    December 4, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  23. bobbymagee

    I feel that this is an excellent idea, simply because the TARP funds that were given to banks never was properly used for people who needed to save their mortages, apply for credit, etc. The banks took the money, more than likely made interest on it, and were SELFISH and GREEDY, not providing it to American citizens! So YES, USE THE TARP MONEY TO PAY FOR A JOBS BILL!!

    December 4, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  24. Jason

    Heaven forbid we use the unneeded money to, I don't know, pay down our debts, reducing our interest payments, etc.

    I can only imagine how the discussion in the White House went: "Wait, we haven't managed to spend all $787B is less than a year?!? Quick, find what's left and spend it! Spend it all!!"

    December 4, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  25. Steve in VT

    this guy does not get it

    December 4, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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