With the economy deteriorating rapidly, lawmakers are preparing for a new request from President Obama for another massive round of spending, which could send the total bailout price soaring toward $1 trillion, the Washington Post reported.
Leading economists and lawmakers believe that as financial institutions are taking on trillion dollar losses, the previously approved $700 billion bailout package won't be enough to solve their problems.
Lawmakers agreed last week to allow President Obama access to the second half of the bailout package. But officials say the government may need to expand their response to the crisis, and hundreds of billions more may be needed.
As Obama continues to work on a separate $825 billion stimulus package, some in Congress are pushing the president to quickly name a funding amount.
"It seems to me there are inadequate resources to deal with housing, deal with the financial sector and to give an immediate lift" to the ailing economy, Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee told the Post. "The last thing I want is to come back here in five months and have another big package. I'd rather do it now."
Economists say that Obama's pledge to use at least $50 billion of the rescue funds to help borrowers avoid home foreclosures could realistically cost $250 billion.
Congressional aides told the Post the administration had not yet decided how to spend the remaining $350 billion of the bailout package or whether or not they will ask for additional funds.