Paulson Wants Next $350B, But Bush May Not Ask for It

Request likely to set off more hand-wringing in Congress over bailout tactics
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2008 11:00 AM CST
In this Sept. 23, 2008, file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, right, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, sit at the witness table on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson called today for Congress to release the second half of the $700 billion bailout fund, but his plea isn’t being echoed at the White House—which would have to make the formal request, the Wall Street Journal reports. “It’s not necessarily true that this administration, in the remaining 31 days, I believe, will go back to Congress,” an aide to President Bush said.

With some of the $17.4 billion promised to US automakers hinging on the release of Trouble Asset Relief Program funds, Congress “will need to release the remainder of the TARP to support financial market stability,” Paulson said today. But whether President Bush or President Obama makes the request, it’s likely to get a rough reception from lawmakers unhappy with Paulson’s handling of his initial funds, Bloomberg notes.