By Vicki Needham - 05/21/10 06:03 PM EDT
As recently as last August, the estimated cost of the program — aimed at restoring liquidity and stability to the financial markets — was $341 billion.
About $190 billion has been repaid of the initial $700 billion that was available for loans to financial institutions.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is trying to gradually wind down the use of TARP at the same time lawmakers are seeking to use the use of leftover funds for other purposes.
"We still face a very challenging economic and financial environment, and we need to be careful to preserve substantial resources and flexibility to deal with future contingencies," Geithner said during a hearing this week on Capitol Hill.