Democrats in Congress want to direct some of the remaining billions in the Wall Street bailout funds to struggling workers and homeowners—a plan that puts them at odds with the White House, which aims to put the TARP balance toward deficit reduction. The change in Congress comes as unemployment soars and voters bristle at news of bailed-out firms handing out lavish holiday bonuses, The Hill reports.
Some $317 billion in TARP funds remains unspent. Congressional Dems have proposed to use the money on tax credits for small businesses, help to homeowners fighting foreclosure, and job-creating infrastructure projects. President Obama, meanwhile, is eyeing the record $1.4 trillion deficit, and Republicans want to end TARP as soon as possible, rather than extending it into 2010.