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Tiahrt seeks to fold TARP and end bailouts for bankers and automakers

TiahrtRep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, has introduced a bill in Congress to halt further spending to bail out financial institutions and automakers.

Tiahrt’s bill is called the “Ensure TARP Expires Act of 2009,” and would block Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner from spending any more money on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, more commonly known as TARP.

Begun under the Bush Administration and continued by President Obama, TARP has injected hundreds of billions of dollars in capital into failing investment, banking, insurance and automotive companies in an effort to stabilize the financial system.

Supporters credit the program with staving off a worldwide depression by rescuing banks and other institutions that are “too big to fail” without causing dire economic consequences.

But the program’s popularity has plummeted in recent months amid reports that some large companies that received bailout funds have returned to giving lavish executive bonuses and perks now that they have returned to profitability.

“We must put an end to Secretary Geithner's authority to funnel billions of bailout dollars to irresponsible institutions,” Tiahrt said in a statement announcing his current bill.

According to his office, Tiahrt has four co-sponsors for the measure so far: Mark Souder, R-Ind., Bob Inglis, R-S.C., Sam Johnson, R-Texas and Charles Boustany, Jr., R-La.

Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, who is running against Tiahrt for the Senate seat being vacated by Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, is also in support of putting an end to TARP, a spokeswoman for his office said.