Paulson May Hit Congress for 2nd $350B Next Week

Treasury Secretary will face a tough audience as skepticism mounts
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2008 8:17 AM CST
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson listens as President George W. Bush makes a statement on the economy, Monday, Nov. 24,2008.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Further erosion of the economy may send Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson back to Congress for the second half of the $700 billion federal bailout next week, reports the Wall Street Journal. But skepticism over how the initial $350 billion is being administered, conflicting views on how to best use the fund, and concern about oversight may make it an uncomfortable trip.

Congress wants some of the money to go to over-leveraged homeowners and to the auto industry, while Paulson wants another infusion for financial institutions, the Journal says. The General Accountability Office yesterday was critical of how the bailout was being handled, citing an inability to monitor conflicts of interest and success of the program. Adding to the witch's brew is the pending handover to a new administration.