From The Wall Street Journal:
MARCH 7, 2009
FDIC Bill Dodges a New TARP Fight
Wall Street Journal
By DAMIAN PALETTA
WASHINGTON A three-page bill designed to bolster the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. could let the Obama administration sidestep a huge political problem: securing more financial firepower without opening a debate over the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The legislation, introduced late Thursday by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, would temporarily allow the FDIC to borrow $500 billion to replenish the fund it uses to guarantee bank deposits, if the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department concur. Those funds would be distinct from the contentious $700 billion financial-sector bailout, which lawmakers are loathe to expand.
The FDIC can presently only borrow $30 billion from Treasury. The bill would permanently raise that level to $100 billion, which the FDIC could tap without prior approval from the Fed and Treasury.
Mr. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, already has four Republican co-sponsors for the bill and it could quickly gain momentum, in part because of strong backing by community bankers.