Bennett, Lee disagree on TARP

It was all about the Constitution, the speech recently-announced Republican U.S. Senator candidate Mike Lee gave before a Logan audience Thursday night. Lee is one of several candidates challenging incumbent Republican Senator Bob Bennett on his bid for a fourth term.Lee, who served as Governor Jon Huntsman’s general counsel and clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court with Judge Samuel Alito, says the nation is in trouble financially now because we stopped following the Constitution which sets all the ground rules.Earlier on KVNU’s “For the People” program, Lee criticized Bennett’s vote for TARP, the Troubled Asset Recovery Program.”What I would have done differently would certainly be not to vote for anything,” Lee said. “It would increase the national debt by close to a trillion dollars. “Depending on how you calculate it, either a few hundred billion or close to a trillion dollars in one fail swoop with no accountability and with no effort whatsoever to find a way to pay for it that didn’t involve billing it to our unborn grandchildren.”U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, R-UT, is denying that he ever voted for a bailout bill as some conservatives have charged. The Republican, who is running for a fourth term this year, admits that he voted for the TARP bill and defends that decision.On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Thursday, Bennett said TARP was not a bailout but was to acquire assets. “It wasn’t just handing money out the way the bailouts were,” Sen. Bennett clarified. “It was acquiring assets, or acquiring warrants, other investments with the banks to give the banks the stability, the financial stability needed to keep the economy afloat. “And then in the ensuing year the TARP money was to be repaid. A good portion of it has been repaid with interest. So the federal government in many areas has made money off of TARP.”Bennett says the problem is that instead of using that money to pay down the national debt the Obama administration has been recycling it and using the money for other things. He says, in his opinion, this is highly improper and that is why he is sponsoring legislation to sunset TARP.

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