January 10th, 2009
12:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Dems told White House may soon look to tap bailout funds

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congressional Democrats were notified Friday afternoon by the White House that they could get a request soon for the remaining $350 billion of funds from that massive $700 billion financial bailout package, a Democratic leadership source confirms to CNN.

According to this Democratic source, who did not want to be named because no decisions have been made, Democratic leaders are not sure if the votes would be there to block President Bush from accessing the funds.

Although there is widespread criticism of the way the Bush administration has handled the rescue program, the source said that if President-elect Obama signs onto the Bush request, it may make it easier for Democrats to vote yes.

Under the bailout legislation approved by Congress in October, the administration must inform Congress that it wants to access the second installment of $350 billion. Unless Congress passes a resolution rejecting the request within 15 days, the Treasury department can begin tapping the funds.

If Congress rejects the request, the president could veto the resolution, allowing Treasury to proceed. If the president vetoed the resolution, Congress would have to override the veto to stop the administration from accessing the money. That requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate.

As congressional Democrats assess the situation, and a possible vote as early as next week, the Bush administration is sending a public warning down Pennsylvania Avenue.

"If the President does decide to notify Congress of the intention to access the second $350 billion on behalf of President-elect Obama, our shared goal (both administrations) will be to defeat a resolution of disapproval if Congress goes that route," an administration official told CNN Saturday.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Friday that the administration has had discussions with the Obama transition team on how to proceed, "should the president-elect determine that he would like President Bush to notify Congress on his behalf of the intent to use the remaining $350 billion so that it will be available early in the new Administration."

But, she added, "No final decisions have been made."

Filed under: Congress • stimulus plan
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Amber

    You'd think that the Democrats could do what they're best at in these situations:

    S T A L L .

    January 10, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Hammer

    Same old dog and pony show. Same lies, same corruption. Same people getting the handouts. Same old politicans singing the same old song. In the end the some old suckers that work and pay their bills and honor their commitments will be paying the way for all the slackers and hangers-on and getting nothing in return but more grief from the government and a LARGE TAX BILL.

    January 10, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Tina, NC

    Why should they get the rest when they pretty much wasted the first half. Not one person, outside of the banks, is willing or able to tell us what happened to the first half. It sure didn't free up credit or help homeowners.

    January 10, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. lovable liberal

    Congress has fifteen days to consider. I suggest that it take ten before acting, sort of a Congressional pocket veto.

    January 10, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. SMR

    They need to leave that money in place till Bush is gone. Hasn't he done enough damage as it is? Another evil ploy by the WORST ADMINISTRATION IN US HISTORY.

    January 10, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Tom

    Keep in mind all you mindless followers, that the congress was not replaced. So the do-nothing for the good of the people machine is still in place and they are busy fighting amongst themselves. Thus, no good will come now or later with the money, it should be dissolved and put back into the US Treasury where it belongs so we don't have to pay extra for it later on.

    January 10, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Bob Chalmers

    I would certainly hope that congress will hold off sending any more money to the banks at this time. On January 20th we will have a new president and I don't think waiting for his thoughts on this matter would make a difference. There should also be more oversite on these funds than was demanded before. I don't believe that what has been spent so far has helped anyone on main street and that is where any recovery must begin.

    January 10, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. alvino

    Since they have no idea where the first $350 billion went, I would not want Paulson and Bush to get any more money to throw away.

    January 10, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. US Citizen

    Obama supports this bailout just as much as Bush does. We're getting screwed from the left and right like A Night At The Roxbury

    January 10, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Steph

    For the love of God, please don't let that idiot get the rest of the money! We have no idea where the first half went.

    January 10, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Larry

    Bush-let Obama and his administration blow the next 350 billion so in a couple of years the Republicans can point out that Obama blew 350 billion in our tax money too.It may help the Republicans in the next election.

    January 10, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Joyce Becker

    Don't let Bush do anymore damage, just let him go quickly and quietly, by the Jan 20 and a new administration is sworn in is time enough to act. for heavens sakes, don't let the Bush administration have any control of where the remaining 350 billion goes, that's just too much money to trust to Bush and his cronies.

    January 10, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. PA

    If Congress doesn't stiff Bush for the $350 Billion they are going to reign to regret it. If the Dems don't have the votes then they need to buy them. If Blago can do it they should be able to!

    January 10, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. ga.


    January 10, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Ryan

    Bush shouldn't be doing anything until President-Elect Obama jump in. I mean, come on, Bush doesn't know what the heck he is doing...

    January 10, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    January 10, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. bk

    You think Bush has spent a lot of money wait until Obama gets his hands on it. We don't need another stimulus package. BALANCE THE BUDGET!

    January 10, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Joe Fattal

    Mr. Obama make sure the porno industry and Larry flint is on your top agenda for a bail out. They should have been bailed out long time ago, before the auto industry. I rather see two people riding eachother, than see a car I can't afford to buy.

    January 10, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Matt

    One more time for Bush to make his budddies rich. I think the whole bailout was a shame and wasted tax payers money. Heck why not he wasted more than Billion in Iraq why no screw America all the way. Thanks for making us clean up your mess Bush. Hopefully you we be in jail soon.

    January 10, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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