The Senate vote 52-42 against a bill that would prevent the Obama administration from accessing the 2nd half of the TARP funds.
Obama wants to use the funds to expand lending to consumers and small businesses. But leaders from both parties expressed concerns about using the remaining TARP monies.
Larry Summers, Obama's economic advisor, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid assuring him that the incoming administration would be more responsible in using the remaining funds. Summers also pledged to commit $50 to $100 billion to address foreclosures.
In the letter, Summers wrote: "We completely agree that this program must promote the stability of the financial system and increase lending, preserve home ownership, promote jobs and economic recovery, safeguard taxpayer interests, and have the maximum degree of accountability and transparency possible."
Many Republicans were angry that Bush used the money to help the auto industry. No one wants to use it for anything other than the financial industry.
The general public is also angry, shouting out at lawmakers and asking when they are going to get a check.
In the end it will not be enough money to do much good. The first $350 billion did nothing to help the economy. Giving money to bankrupt companies is just delaying the inevitable. Many of these companies are worth less than the amount of money they are receiving.