Senate Rejects Withholding Remaining TARP Funds

President-elect Obama and his economic team can celebrate an unusual pre-inaugural, legislative victory tonight. This afternoon, the Senate voted 42 to 52 to reject a “resolution of disapproval” aimed at blocking the release of the second tranche of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. Obama made the right call in waging the battle in the Senate rather than the House where the vote count was less certain.

While the Senate vote was largely along party lines, there were nine Democrats who opposed and six Republicans who supported releasing the remaining $350 billion of TARP funds. Sen. Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Hatch (R-UT) each voted “present.” Three Senators—Brown (D-OH), Bunning (R-KY), and Kennedy (D-MA)—did not vote.

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