Senator Kaufman selected as new top TARP cop

Mon Oct 4, 2010 1:28pm EDT

* Kaufman to chair TARP oversight panel

* Panel in place through April 2011

By Dave Clarke

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Senator Ted Kaufman was selected on Monday to chair the congressional panel overseeing the $700 billion financial sector bailout program -- a day after the program officially expired.

Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid picked Kaufman, a critic of Wall Street, to fill the seat vacated by Elizabeth Warren, who left the panel to become a special adviser to President Obama charged with helping set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Warren served as the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and on Monday fellow committee members voted to have Kaufman take over that role.

"Continued oversight of the TARP is serious business, and I am eager to get started," Kaufman said in a release.

As of Oct. 3 the TARP program can no longer distribute funding, but the oversight panel will remain in business through April 3, 2011. It issues monthly reports examining how the program has been run.

Kaufman joined the Senate in January 2009 after being appointed by then-Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner to fill the seat of Joe Biden, who had become vice president.

At the time Kaufman, who was a longtime aide to Biden, said he had no intention of serving more than two years. and his Senate replacement will be decided by voters next month. (Reporting by Dave Clarke, Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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