Does the Treasury Department actually have any authority under TARP to use TARP money to rescue the automakers? Maybe it does, but I'd like to see where it says that. Can someone point me to the language?Late Update
: The GAO thinks so, under an emergency loan provision
. As the GAO's acting director testified
First, as it relates to the authorities under the economic stabilization act for the secretary of Treasury, we believe that that legislation is worded broadly enough that would permit the secretary of Treasury to provide the assistance using T.A.R.P. funds. And the secretary has broad discretion to set whatever conditions on the assistance that he would determine necessary.
The irony of course is that the Bush Administration has been arguing that TARP is
limited to financial institutions, although it looks like they will now be reversing course.