Jan 15 2009

Corker Says Plans to Release Additional TARP Funds Aren’t Prescriptive Enough

Says We Need to Address Root Problem, Not Continue Treating Symptoms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-TN, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today voted against releasing $350 billion of TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) funding.

“This was a painful vote for me. I greatly respect President-elect Obama’s economic team, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, and I look forward to working with them in any way I can,” said Corker. “I told them that in order for me to support releasing the additional funds, I needed them to diagnose the problem – to explain to the American people what the problem is in our credit markets and how they plan to fix it using the $350 billion they are seeking. This is exactly why Senator Schumer and I pushed for having the funding allocated in two tranches, so that we would have this opportunity to review the effectiveness of the program. Mr. Summers released an explanatory letter this afternoon, which I appreciate, but at this point in time we should be able to be more prescriptive.

“I voted against releasing any additional TARP funds because I am concerned that we are treating the symptoms and not addressing the root problem.

“I voted for the TARP legislation in October because I felt we needed a systemic approach to restarting the engines of our financial system. The initial infusion of capital from the TARP program was allocated in an ad-hoc way and there remains significant stress in our credit markets. We need to restore confidence to our financial system through a prescriptive and clear path forward. I hope to continue working with members of the president-elect’s economic team to ensure the funds, if released, are put to appropriate use.”

Corker voted for S.J.Res.5, a resolution of disapproval for access by the administration to the remaining $350 billion of the TARP. The motion failed by a vote of 42-52.