House, In Vain, Votes to Withhold Second Half of TARP Funds
Even as the second half of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout funding is on its way to the White House, House lawmakers this afternoon voted to disapprove its release. And if that sounds illogical, it’s because it is.
That is, policy-wise, the House vote is a meaningless gesture.
The original bailout bill, passed in October, allowed for the release of the second $350 billion with approval from just one congressional chamber, and the Senate voted last week to grant the Obama administration’s request for the funds.
Politically, though, the vote allows plenty of cover for House lawmakers who, hearing grief from constituents about the country’s turn toward socialism, can always point to today’s vote as evidence that they didn’t want the bailout spending to continue.
The vote was 270 to 155 against releasing the funds, with 151 Democrats and four Republicans voting with the White House.