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

Obama issues veto threat, senators say


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. Baze

    Well, at least we see he's strong in his beliefs.

    January 13, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. ct

    The problem for OBAMA is there's sewage all around him, be it democrates or republicans, be it preachers or governors, be it clintonestas or an ignorant press core. It is highly unfortunate, he has to swim in such filth to accomplish the work for the american people. However, there's simply no other way. We the public have allowed the politicians and news media to run-a-muck. I only wish him God's speed.

    January 13, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Tonya

    That man standing in the back looks like he's saying.............

    Who do he think he is, I will show him wait till he walks out in the parking lot, I'm going to throw both of my shoes at him, but not today I am wearing a pair of Dolce & Gabbana just wait till I have on my hiking boots..... (lol) fix your face please...............

    January 13, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. AndyL

    Looks like the Democrat love-in is already over

    January 13, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. No Incumbents 2010

    I went to the mall Saturday and couldn't find a place to park, so I went get something to eat and had to wait 10 minutes for a table. I used my credit card to pay for everything and was not refused. My bank is still open, it takes only $30.00 to fill my tank now.
    But I'm being told if we don't do something drastic and soon we are all doomed. I'm also told this is the worst it has been since the great depression- refer to my first sentence.
    I guess it is true if you say something enough times people begin to believe it.
    We've got to wire tap for the safety of the country. We've got to have a Patriot Act. We've got to spend spend spend or the economy is doomed.
    It is amazing how gullible we are. We keep thinking the government will save us. The New Deal. The Great Society and yet we still have poverty and the impoverished still look to the government for salvation.

    I'm sorry you will not be able to read this due to it being moderated for 3 or 4 hours.

    January 13, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. MAD

    I understand that the congress "DOESN'T WORK FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA" but they darm sure better work with him. Especially the Democrates who have been complaining for the past two years about not having enough votes.

    If they can't get somethings done, and I mean right now, we will make sure they are gone in 2010.

    We've been holding on long enough. 8 years of destruction was enough. How dare they even hint at making it 9 or 10. Either they are a part of the solution or they are a part of the problem.

    January 13, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Judy Mia Fl

    I completely, completely, completely agree with Mari

    My sentiments exactly:
    Work with Obama or start looking for another job!!!!!!

    A WARNING TO CONGRESS: We the people, elected Barack Obama to lead our Nation out of the Bush Disaster! You all better get your acts together, agree to work together or….. We the People WILL throw you all out in the next election.

    The problem, said the Democrats "is that we did not have a majority" NOW you DO have the majority! And a Democrat as president …. SO GET TO WORK!

    January 13, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. Max

    The Congress is right in this dispute. No more bailouts.

    January 13, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. Lynn in NM

    Why is there a problem? His party is behind him and he has both the Congress and Senate, right? Everything he promised should fly right through. If not, they don't have any Republicans to blame. UHOH!! Maybe they realize the citizens are mad about this bail out and plan to "change" the government in 2010. New Congressmen and Senators would be great. The ones that are in now are pretty much useless, based on the record from the past 2 years.

    January 13, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. tired of corporate politics

    Wow – he went from "reaching across the aisle" to "veto threat" pretty quickly!

    January 13, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  11. Julie

    Well Obama can veto bills all he wants, but the Congress can override his vetoes. I am not sure he was in Washington long enough to learn that though....

    January 13, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. Matt

    @ tired of corporate politics

    Unfortuantely, sometimes when he reaches across the aisle it's going to have to be to plant a pimp slap on naysayers and rabble-rousers like yourself.

    January 13, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. Julie

    George W. Bush wasn´t even this bad in his first term... he had 0 vetoes.

    January 13, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  14. Richard n texas

    I dont think we should release any of the funds until they tell us what they did with the first 350 billion we gave them. How arrogant can you be when asked what you did with the money by saying, we dont want to tell you.

    I was never for giving them money, if you make bad investments, you go bankrupt and someone else takes your place. If sub-prime loans were so bad, why are we still offereing them, as well as ARMS. Lets fix the problem now, not wait until it explodes again.

    I did not vote for him, but Obama is the president. He needs to look at what the people of the US is saying and try to at least appease them some. Otherwise it will just be another year of sending good money after bad.

    The big 3 did not deserve a bailout, we have many other small car companies that would fill the void of the big 3, as well as other foreign car makers. Looking at where they build and get their parts from, they are less american built then Toyota or other foreigns cars.

    With that being said, I hope our new president helps bring us out of this mess.

    God Bless America.

    January 13, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Let's see, Obama plans to negotiate with North Korea, Iran and Cuba to work out our differences, but he can't convince his own party to support him without threats. That IS change.

    January 13, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. Ernie in LA

    Obama promised he could take care of everything long before the bailout money was there. Why does he need it. King Obama says "My way or the Highway." Things are getting really good and he's not even the President yet. Look at all the men's faces around Obama. He must be a real sweetheart.

    January 13, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. jr

    I am getting very frustrated with the Democrats pushback on OBAMA...while I do agree that their should be accountability..I think they need to make more of an effort to work in a bi-partisan way to help this ailing economy. I am happy to see that he is taking a stand and not being pushed around by their partisan agenda!

    Go OBAMA!

    January 13, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. chuck


    January 13, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. tony smith

    Mari - as much as I might agree with Obama's plan to use the money, you argument is downright SCARY. Just because Obama was elected, this does not mean that he should get everything he wants. The constitution does not establish a Monarchy!

    PS: I imagine you can only vote in ONE state.....

    January 13, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. jaye

    Obama will not be a puppet or a pushover...and I commend him greatly.

    January 13, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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