Tester: Use Wall Street bailout money to pay down national debt

Senator calls on Congress to send repaid and unused money to lower the deficit

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) –Senator Jon Tester is calling on Congress to send repaid and unused money from the bailout of Wall Street to pay down the national debt.

Tester is urging his colleagues on the Senate Budget Committee to include the bipartisan Pay it Back Act as it prepares next year’s budget.

Tester is a cosponsor of the Pay it Back Act, which would:

  • Capture repaid Wall Street bailout funds and applies those funds for deficit reduction. 
  • Require returned investments from the sale of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock or securities to be used for deficit reduction.
  • Reduce the national debt limit dollar-for-dollar as the bailout money is returned.

“Main Street should never have to pay the price for greed on Wall Street,” Tester said.  “That’s why I’m against bailouts.  And that’s why I support the Pay it Back Act.  It’s time we use that money to pay down the national debt.”

Tester is the only Senate Democrat to vote against both the Wall Street bailout (also known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP) and the bailout of the U.S. auto industry.

Tester cosponsored and voted for a measure last month that would have immediately stopped the federal government from spending any more Wall Street bailout money.  The measure would have required all repaid and unused bailout funds to be used to lower the national debt.