U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, delivered the following remarks today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on the intent of the president and Democrats to use TARP funds for a second stimulus:
Last year I opposed the Wall Street bailout because I thought it was wrong to take $700 billion in bad decisions on Wall Street and transfer that debt burden to Main Street and future generations of Americans. But while I believe the action taken by Congress a year ago was wrong, the TARP legislation actually rightly demanded that any money not used to purchase toxic assets in the bill be used to pay down the national debt. The legislation specifically says that any leftover TARP money goes to deficit reduction.
That's why I have to tell you, Madam Speaker, I was astonished when I heard Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week suggest that her source to pay for a new so-called stimulus bill would be leftover TARP funding. And if press reports are true, the President of the United States will address the Brookings Institute this morning and suggest the same.
Let me be clear on this point. To use money from the TARP fund in the manner that is being discussed by the White House and Congressional Democrats would be a violation of the law, and it would betray the trust of the American people. It seems the Democrats' policy on spending is, if we got it, spend it – no matter where it comes from.
NOTE: To watch the remarks online, click here.