January 13th, 2009
03:27 PM ET
11 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. 7 more days!

    Good...PE Obama will not be pushed around by the partisan, ego driven Congress people especially those who should have retired years ago and turned the reins over to the new generation!

    January 13, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Proud American

    What's the democrats problem?

    January 13, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |


    January 13, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. steve

    This is so un-American, and so very wrong. We're pillaging the future for today's greedy appetites. Mr. Obama, I expected more of our savior.

    January 13, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. FreeNLovIt

    Exellent! Just go home and let the economy RIP

    January 13, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. jjd

    The honeymoon is over!

    January 13, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Uncle S.A.M.

    If they don't give you the money Mr. President, veto the bill and the American People will take care of those senators come next election. We will vote them out and find replacements.

    January 13, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. mark

    Hey BH (short for Barry Hussein)

    You are creating infrastructure jobs that will not last forever…construction gigs last a few years maybe 7-9 at best…then what, back to square one unemployment???
    And don't get me started on you "saving" jobs…exactly how is your Bill Clinton Cabinet calculating that one?
    I mean, if you still have a job, it has NOTHING to do with you earning or deserving it…just know, the ONLY reason you are allowed to keep a job now is because Barry saved it for you. Complete joke.

    January 13, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. mark

    And Barney Frank........please step down, no one like you bro. You are a racist, a liar and an awful person....just go away

    January 13, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Who would be forcing whom? Those with enough integrity to speak up for a change of course in this bailout largesse, or a newbie President who is so arrogantly sure of the righteousness of his untested policies? A veto threat impresses me as rather petulant, a side of the guy we had suspected but not seen.

    January 13, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Dee

    Do these Democrats not wish their President to succeed? Its unfathomable that when the country is solidly behind Obama and his plans,that these ego ridden Democrats want to inhibit the new Presdient from doing his job! They will be the ones who will naswer to the electorate when they next go to the polls! I guess its true that Democrats ruin their own chnaces for sucess!

    January 13, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. gl, Pittsburgh

    Obama use his veto pen – YES SHOW THEM WHO IS IN CHARED. Why now sure the Senators flex their power when they didn't with the sitting President now.

    January 13, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Virginia

    Vetoing his own Dems...what about promises of cooperation? And besides, how can he threaten veto when he is not president yet. I know, just a few more days (yawn), but he still is NOT prez yet!

    January 13, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Monrob

    Here we go . . . a threat from God Obama.

    Politics . . . as usual!

    January 13, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Matt

    Hehe...the Big Dog came to play. Good. Maybe he can keep all 500+ of those whining nincompoop legislators in line for the next 4 years.

    January 13, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Wow – the chosen one is showing balls by standing up to his own party. Perhaps he won't be the puppet I expected.

    January 13, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. REG in AZ

    If there is real concern for turning things around then there is one thing that has to be done first, one thing that when not done has proven to make everything else meaningless. That one thing is the development of a sincere and honest concern for getting it right to benefit the majority of Americans, to drop the preoccupation with justifying and rationalizing the self-indulgence and the focus on benefiting Special Interests and a select few, who return benefit. Over the last eight years in particular we have clearly seen and been subjected to the free wheeling and arrogant subterfuge constantly offered to cover over just those actions and we now are living with the costly results. If the politicians continue to focus on themselves, if the issue is whether Republican or Democrat, or conservative or liberal, if their efforts are really just more disguised manipulation appealing to people’s biases to justify benefit for limited interests, then we will just continue to pay the penalty. The only way they can effectively make the right decisions on how much money to give who, on what qualifications and controls must be put in place, on what regulations and regulatory enforcements have to be enacted, on what comes first and so on, is when they are truly and honestly concerned for more than just what advances their personal interests. Whenever we have seen them expending great energy and rhetoric to block or advance a cause, it has always been for a partisan self-interest, no matter how rationalized. Turning that around should be the real goal; good luck!

    January 13, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. david goldman



    January 13, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Jackie in Dallas

    I believe President Elect Obama when he says he wants more transparency about where the money goes, and I believe from what I've read of what he wants the money used for, that it would be helpful to the economy instead of going into pockets of the already wealthy-off-the-taxpayers financial industry. Please Democrats, don't shoot yourself in the foot from the start! We NEED coordinated and thoughtful communication between the White House and Congress, and we need the start of Obama's term to be positive, not negative!

    January 13, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. Minnesota

    If they're skeptical its because the Bush Administration handled the first half of the bail out. Nothing they do is straight up with Americans. There is always some sort of fine print included or lobbiests influences involved. Everything Bush did was for cronies and corporations.
    If Obama is going to reform the presidency he must be given a chance. The way the 2nd half of this money is handled could be a huge litmus test for thingsa to come. I say the Dem's need to let Obama show what he can do. He'll be transparent with the money vs Bush's NOT being transparent. That will go a long ways to show America what kind of CHANGE is coming.

    January 13, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. vjunior

    OK, number 2 issue. First was not including job credits in this bailout as promised. Second is using veto power already. That will be used on every issue.

    January 13, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. aware

    Hail PEBO! 😦

    January 13, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. tired of corporate politics

    Wow – he went from "reaching across the aisle" to "veto threat" pretty quickly! I think this messiah thing has gone from rabid fans to his head.

    Ignoring accountability and feedback is a bad way to start. And it will lead to a divded and lonely term in office.

    January 13, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. matt

    Obama loves spending money, that's for sure. He's proven that and he isn't even our president. The dude flat out sucks.

    January 13, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. No Incumbents 2010

    Remember folks someone still has to pay for this. And for all of you who hate "Corporations" you sure do love your PE giving them money.

    January 13, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
1 2 3 4