WASHINGTON Dec 10 An outspoken dissenting
voice on the panel overseeing the U.S. government's $700
billion bank bailout fund has stepped down, his office said on
Thursday, saying he has no desire to stay on once the original
term of the program expires.
Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling resigned from the
five-member Congressional Oversight Panel for the the Troubled
Asset Relief Program (TARP), his spokesman, George Rasley, said
"He signed on for the duration of the original program,
which was a year, and given that it has been extended ... he
concluded that he could be effective on these issues in his
capacity as a member of Congress," Rasley said.
Hensarling was the panel's only sitting member of Congress,
and advocated shutting TARP down by year-end. Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner extended the life of the program
into October, saying TARP is still needed to buffer banks
against possible shocks.
"One can not help but conclude that TARP is failing its
mandate," Hensarling said in a statement accompanying the most
recent report by the oversight panel.
The TARP watchdog itself has been critical of the program.
Its most recent report says that while TARP helped stabilize
markets and the economy during the crisis, it has done little
to boost lending or stave off millions of home foreclosures.
(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal;Editing by Andrew Hay )