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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. gary davis harbor oregon

    this is great , the first president that actually looks for ideas and ways to fix our econmy . and could some one please tell palin to shut up and go away ? and please CNN and the rest of the media . stop following her around and quoting her on every stupid thing she comes up with ?

    and lets keep helping the president not bad mouthing him . 🙂

    December 4, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  2. Terry - Indiana

    All of the TARP Money should be repaid within 90 days. The banks have done nothing with the funds. The housing market is slow to rebound due to a lack of funding for loans. Obama needs to provide funding for SBA Loans, and not permit any bank that took initial TARP Funds to participate. The entire TARP Bailout smelled last October, and it is very stinky today. Where is the TARP accounting report from each of the banks and Wall Street Financial firms? This thing is bigger than Watergate – and once again a Republican started the mess. Everyone should have been shocked when Paulson demanded immunity from prosecution after the initial payout to Goldman Sachs and others. How can we put bank robbers in jail when we have crooks managing the Federal Reserve?

    December 4, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  3. bennie new york

    I don't know any normal citizen who wouldn't support taking funds from Wall Street and using them to help normal Americans. This might be the best thing Obama's done during his entire presidency- IF it happens. After all, Wall Street seems to own Capitol Hill these days.
    To Meka- I feel compelled to mention that it was actually Clinton and the Democrats that pushed through NAFTA and free trade, two institutions I'm also opposed to. The Democrats are also quite guilty of "Wall Street Welfare"- Chris Dodd in particular will pay dearly for what he's done for Wall Street. And of course deregulation of Wall Street was pushed through by Bob Rubin in the Clinton administration. I hate Republicans too, but don't think Democrats get away scottfree.

    December 4, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  4. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Best of luck, president Barack Obama. I am rooting for you, because if you are successful, America will be successful. I feel bad that you are in such a polarized environment at this point. Imagine what we can do if we can come together.

    December 4, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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