On behalf of President-elect Barack Obama, President Bush on Monday said he has agreed to ask Congress for the second half of a $700 billion financial bailout fund.
The timing of the request means that Obama may have the funds at his disposal by the time he is inaugurated as President in one week.
I felt that it would be irresponsible for me, with the first $350 billion already spent, to enter into the administration without any potential ammunition should there be some sort of emergency or a weakening of the financial system, Obama told reporters, according to Reuters.
President Bush today told reporters in a press conference that he would be willing to request the funds if asked to do so by Obama.
President Bush agreed to the president-elect's request, Perino said in a released statement. We will continue our consultations with the president-elect's transition team, and with Congress, on how best to proceed in accordance with the requirements of the statute.
The congress has 15-days to deny the request, according to Bloomberg. Congress has been critical about the way the current money has been spent, especially that it has not been tracked well. The funds will come with additional restrictions for Obama which he has said he supports.
Many of us have been disappointed with the absence of clarity, the lack of transparency, the failure to track how the money's been spent and the failure to take bold action with respect to areas like housing, Obama said.
My commitment is that we are going to fundamentally change some of the practices in using this next phase of the program. We're going to focus on housing foreclosures, we're going to focus on small businesses, we're going to focus on what's required to make sure that credit is flowing to consumers and businesses, the president-elect added.