Bennet, Scott Brown, Tester Laud Inclusion of Bipartisan Plan to 'Pay It Back' in Wall Street Reform

Say Plan to Wind Down Bailouts, Pay Down Deficit Represents An Important Step Towards Good Government in Washington

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Scott Brown (R-MA) and Jon Tester (D-MT) lauded the inclusion of the ‘Pay It Back' Plan in Wall Street Reform as an important and necessary step towards ending the banking, auto and housing bailouts and restoring responsible government in Washington.

The bipartisan amendment, which is based on legislation authored and introduced by Bennet last year, reduces the size of TARP by $150 billion and prevents Treasury from redirecting unused funds for new programs. It would also ensure that repaid TARP funds - totaling more than $180 billion to date - are used to pay down the deficit, not fund further spending.

"The Pay It Back plan sends a message - loud and clear - that taxpayers will no longer be on the hook for Wall Street bankers' bad decisions," said Bennet. "It's a commonsense way forward for a program whose time has come and, thankfully, is almost gone. It's time to wind down the big bank bailouts paid for on the backs of our kids, pay down the deficit and begin to get Washington's fiscal house in order."

"I am pleased to have supported Senator Bennet's bipartisan amendment reducing the size of the TARP bailout fund by $150 billion," said Brown. "With the national debt approaching $13 trillion, we must take steps to address this unsustainable fiscal path. This amendment does that, ensuring that repaid TARP funds - totaling more than $180 billion to date - are directly put towards reducing our nation's ballooning level of debt. With the unanimous passage of this amendment in the Senate, the American taxpayer can take comfort in the fact that TARP funds cannot be re-directed into any new spending programs."

"Montana's working families and Main Street small businesses should never have to pay the price for greed on Wall Street," said Tester. "Using money from the Wall Street bailout-which I voted against-to pay down what we owe is a good first step to getting a handle on this country's national debt."

Specifically, the ‘Pay It Back' Plan captures funds from taxpayer investments in financial institutions and auto companies through the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP), taxpayer investments to stabilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and returned stimulus funds and makes sure that these funds are used to pay down the national debt and not for additional spending. It also establishes a sunset for unused stimulus funds.

For more information on the 'Pay It Back' Plan, click here.