Thompson Votes Against Latest Government Bailout, Urges Democratic Leadership to Exercise Fiscal Discipline

Jan 21, 2009

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, joined 165 other Members today in exercising fiscal responsibility by voting to deny the Department of the Treasury access to an additional $350 billion of taxpayers’ dollars to bailout corporate America.
 
“Like many citizens across the Fifth District, I too am suffering from bailout-itus,” said Thompson, who opposed the Federal Government’s initial Wall Street bailout.  “My neighbors back in Howard, and friends and family across the district, continue to sacrifice to make ends meet in this time of economic uncertainly – it’s time for corporate America to do the same.”

Thompson is referring to the government sponsored, Department of the Treasury administered, Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was created by an act of Congress prior to his arrival – the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.  While the intent of Congress was to free up the credit markets so that small businesses and citizens could access capital, TARP funds were instead expanded to purchase equity stakes in many of America’s largest financial institutions.

“With $350 billion already squandered, I am not prepared to put my constituents on the hook for another $350 billion, plain and simple.  This TARP program has been poorly administered from day one, offering little oversight, and to date zero accountability.”

Thompson continued, “I think the taxpayers would be best served if this Democrat controlled Congress and the new President focused on tax relief for working class families as opposed to increasing governments’ role in the private sector.”

Thompson supported the Republican alternative that would require the Secretary of the Treasury to develop a plan and establish a timeline for repayment of all funds provided to corporate America under the TARP program to the Treasury.
 
“I remain committed to working with my colleagues across the aisle to enact smart government – not big government – solutions to the many economic challenges facing our nation. Today qualified as an expansion of government involvement in the private sector – or what I call a ‘big government solution’,” concluded Thompson.

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