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Are the TARP Funds helping?

January 17, 2009

Everyone wants the pain in the economy to lessen – and I think things have eased somewhat. Rates are awesome! Below 5% but, it’s still very difficult to get a loan done. Underwriting guidelines are tough. Properties have declined so much that there isn’t any equity and PMI money is limited if available at all.

The first round did ease things a bit. I am hoping we see a little more light with this second release.

Second Batch of TARP Funds Released
Austin Kilgore | 01.16.09

The U.S. Senate has voted to allow the release of the second batch of $350 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program funds.

The vote wasn’t necessary for the Treasury department to have access to the money, but it does block any attempt by the House of Representatives to stop the release of the money, because the legislation that created the program requires both houses of Congress to vote against releasing the money.

The vote is also the first legislative win for President-elect Barack Obama, who had lobbied Congress to not block access to the money.

The vote comes a day after senators voted against a resolution that would have prevented the release of TARP funds.

“I know this wasn’t an easy vote because of the frustration so many of us share about how the first half of this plan was implemented,” Obama said in a statement after the vote.

Obama has committed to setting limits on executive salaries for companies that receive TARP funds, as well as provide loans to small businesses and help stem the foreclosure crisis.

Congressional critics of the program said the government didn’t do enough to keep track of the funds and hold the banks accountable for how they spent it.

Louisiana Republican David Vitter, who introduced the Senate resolution to block the release, criticized the “complete lack of accountability in the TARP program.”

“If we don’t pass this resolution of disapproval, nothing will change in the TARP program,” he said, according to a Bloomberg report.

On the other side of Congress, House Democrats are focusing their energies on getting Obama’s $825 billion economic stimulus package to Obama’s desk.

The plan includes an income tax break for Americans who make less than $200,000 a year, and billions for state Medicaid spending and education, both on the school district and public college levels.

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