New York (CNNMoney.com) - The White House is considering a tax on financial institutions to ensure that taxpayers who bailed out banks get paid back, a senior administration official said Monday.
The law that created the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program empowered the president to ask Congress to recoup money if bailouts were not paid back in full.
TARP dictates that the Office of Management and Budget consider such action five years after TARP went into effect in October 2008 to prevent the federal bailout from adding to the deficit.
When the TARP bill was hastily debated, the provision was key to winning enough support from wary lawmakers to push the bill through Congress.
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, would not discuss how a possible bank fee would fit into Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget, which is set to be released next month. "When it comes back from Kinko's, we'll be able to talk about it," he said.
But Gibbs said it is the president's "goal" to ensure the "money that taxpayers put up will be paid back in full."