Monday, January 12, 2009
President-elect Barack Obama has asked President George W. Bush to seek another $350 billion to bail out the financial sector so that Obama can have the money at his disposal promptly after taking office.
Bush agreed to notify Congress, the White House said. Congress has 15 days to reject the request, but efforts were afoot to have the money available for Obama much sooner.
The request would give Obama, who takes office Jan. 20, not only the opportunity to get quick access to the money, but also to change the program's goals and conditions. The Bush administration's handling of the first $350 billion has come under widespread criticism in Congress and from watchdog organizations.
Obama and his economic team have signaled that he was eager to use the money to help reduce the number of mortgage foreclosures and that he wanted to place greater restrictions on institutions that receive the funds. The move comes as Democrats in the House of Representatives prepare to act on legislation that has some of the same aims.