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Senate Approves Bailout Inspector General

Now that $350 billion is out the door and already spent, Neil Barofsky can start figuring out where it all went.

The Senate cleared Barofsky's nomination to be the first inspector general overseeing the $700-billion financial bailout law known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

The confirmation, done by voice vote, comes after weeks of criticism that the money being alloted by the Treasury Department has not been properly tracked.

An anonymous Senate Republican placed a hold to block his nomination but lifted it late last week. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), a fierce critic of the bailout, was blamed for holding up the nomination, but his aides have refused to confirm that. 

"Strong oversight of the program remains critical, including having an independent watchdog located at Treasury that will focus on taxpayer interests and guarding against fraud and abuse, and I’m pleased we have taken the next step to help keep the TARP program on track and protect the taxpayers during these challenging times," said Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), one of the Senate architects of the TARP program. 

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