Representative Tom Graves (R-Ga.-09) issued the a statement Thursday, in response to a report by a government watchdog group that found U.S. taxpayers are still owed $132.9 billion from companies that received money from the financial bailout.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program is a $700 billion project launched in September 2008 to bailout private financial companies. The report also found that some of the bailout money may never be repaid to taxpayers.
Representative Graves supported H.R. 830, the FHA Refinance Program Termination Act, and H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act. H.R. 830 would rescind any unused TARP funds directed to the Federal Housing Administration Refinance Program to pay down the overwhelming federal debt.
FHA Refinance Program dollars are not given to homeowners, but to lenders and banks, and only helped 44 people over two years. H.R. 839 would rescind any unused TARP funds for the Home Affordable Modification Program. President Obama directed $30 billion to HAMP through TARP with the promise of HAMP helping four million homeowners. However, HAMP has only helped about 13 percent of the homeowners President Obama estimated, and the re-default rate among those helped is alarmingly high.
Representative Graves said, “The federal government should never use taxpayers’ money to decide which companies should survive or fail. While I was not a member of the House when Congress passed the bailout, I most certainly would have voted against it. The federal government should never be allowed to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. This report’s determination that taxpayers are still on the hook for more than $130 billion is additional evidence that the government should stay out of the private sector, and let the free market work efficiently. I strongly oppose bailouts, buyouts, cash for clunkers – or any other program where the federal government inserts itself into free enterprise.
“Government has a poor record of making wise decisions with taxpayer dollars. This report is further evidence of that. This is why I supported H.R. 830, the FHA Refinance Program Termination Act, and H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act. Unfortunately, these common sense bills to end these two failed projects and save taxpayer dollars have been stonewalled by the Senate.”