Despite the defeat of a similar measure in the Senate last Thursday, the House of Representatives yesterday passed a measure opposing the release of the final $350 billion installment of TARP funding by a 270-155 vote.

On January 12, the Bush White House formally requested the release of the final $350 billion of TARP funds on behalf of the incoming Obama administration. Under Section 115 of EESA, before the final $350 billion of funds could be committed, the President had to submit a plan to Congress “detailing the plan of the Secretary [of Treasury]” to use the final $350 billion of TARP authorization, after which Congress had 15 days within which it could pass a joint resolution disapproving of the plan.

Although controversy over the release emerged after some Congressional leaders expressed displeasure about how the first $350 billion had been deployed, Congress effectively released the remaining $350 billion on January 15 when efforts led by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) to block the release of funds were defeated in the Senate by a 52-42 vote. In the immediate wake of the Senate vote, the Treasury Department announced a plan to use a portion of the final $350 billion to aid Bank of America.