Thune Introduces Government Ownership Exit Plan News Wire

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Thune, R-S.D., introduced the Government Ownership Exit Plan Act, a bill that would require the federal government to end its ownership of private entities acquired under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) by July 1, 2010.

The bill also prohibits the future acquisition of new or additional ownership interests in private firms through the use of TARP funds and prevents the federal government from making management decisions in private companies in which it has an ownership interest.

“Thanks to the federal government’s unprecedented intervention in the private sector, the president has become a de facto CEO managing large segments of our economy and Congress is acting as a 535 member board of directors,” said Thune. “Having the federal government call the shots for private industry is bad for business, bad for the economy, and bad for taxpayers. Government needs to get out of the business of owning American companies, and this legislation establishes a reasonable end date for government ownership and provides a clear exit strategy for taxpayers.”

The Government Ownership Exit Plan would require the sale of any ownership interest such as warrants, preferred stock, or common stock and apply any revenue from the sale of those assets to the reduction of the national debt. The plan would also prohibit the federal government from making or unduly influencing management decisions of private companies such as appointing senior executives and board members.

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