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Top Dem Senator: "Hundreds Of Billions More" Needed For Bank Bailouts

First Posted: 03/05/09 05:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:00 PM ET

Budget

Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Budget Committee, warned Monday that the financial sector would need "hundreds of billions more" in federal dollars before the Wall Street crisis is over.

Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, wants $50 billion of the stimulus package to be directed at reducing foreclosures and helping homeowners refinance mortgages. The administration plans to use money from the second half of the $700 billion financial-sector bailout -- known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP -- to mediate the foreclosure crisis, but Conrad argued that there isn't enough TARP money to go around.

"It's been said over and over, 'Well, you do that [address foreclosures] through TARP.' I don't believe there is sufficient resources in the TARP to deal with the financial sector, much less the financial sector and housing," said Conrad.

"In fact, I believe that there will be a requirement for hundreds of billions of dollars more in TARP funding for the financial sector alone," he said. "Hundreds of billions more," he repeated, stressing each word. "That's how deep this crisis is."

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