President Bush and Barack Obama asked Congress today to release the remaining $350 billion in TARP funds to prop up the troubled US financial system. The White House said Bush acted on a request from the president-elect, who takes office next week. Congress may vote on the request as early as this week, according to senators briefed by Obama economic adviser Larry Summers.
The Obama economic team has been working with Congress to help smooth release of the massive block of federal dollars, suggesting it wanted to use more of the fund to relieve homeowners threatened with mortgage foreclosures. Summers sought to win over Senate Democrats even as Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner warned that any effort to release the additional money would be a tough sell.