Monday, Jan 12, 2008
President Bush said Monday he would be willing to seek from Congress the remaining $350 billion of the $700 billion financial industry bailout, but President-elect Barack Obama has not asked him to do so.
“I told him that if he felt that he needed the $350 billion I would be willing to ask for it,” Bush told a news conference at the start of his last full week in office. “He hasn’t asked me to make the request yet and I don’t intend to make the request unless he specifically asks me to make it.”
Aides to Obama, who takes office on Jan. 20, have been in discussions with the White House and Congress on seeking to use the remaining funds from the bailout, which was approved last year and is aimed at shoring up the troubled financial sector.
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But many lawmakers have criticized the Bush administration over how the first $350 billion of the fund was used.
Several Democrats in the Senate have demanded that the remaining money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, be released only if stronger limits and protections are adopted.