Re: have (R)'s finally had a good idea? or are they playing Capt. Obvious?
posted at 11/12/2009 8:47 AM EST
House GOP Bill Wants Unused Stimulus, Tarp Funds To Reduce Deficit
By Corey Boles, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- House Republicans plan to introduce legislation Thursday aimed at requiring any unspent stimulus money or unallocated funds in the Treasury's financial rescue plan to be used to pay down the burgeoning federal government budget deficit.
Combined, Republicans say the money could reduce the deficit by $610 billion. The deficit is projected to reach $1.8 trillion in the current fiscal year - by far, the largest ever.
Some elements in the financial markets have begun questioning whether mainly foreign investors will continue to have a limitless appetite for buying U.S. debt, although so far there has been little evidence of difficulty in the regular Treasury bond auctions.
Republicans in the House and Senate are trying to galvanize Americans fears about long-term fiscal imbalances and turn it into an election issue.
The House effort is similar to various attempts in the Senate by Republicans to require the Treasury to use unused stimulus or Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to pay down the deficit.
Given the minority status of Republicans in both chambers, none of the attempts have any realistic chance at becoming law, but GOP lawmakers hope that by keeping them on the agenda, the issue of the federal government's unprecedented spending will remain in the forefront of voters' minds heading into 2010's mid-term elections.
The House bill would require the roughly $150 billion of unspent TARP money - what's left of the original $700 billion - to be used to reduce the deficit. It would require all money that is repaid by firms that have received cash infusions from the Treasury to also be targeted for deficit reduction.
The bill would then claw back the $460 billion remaining of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan, funneling it, too, towards deficit reduction.
The legislation is set to be formally introduced Thursday by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative Republican lawmakers.
-By Corey Boles, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6601; email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires 07-08-091752ET Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.