US Congress may require banks to increase lending for bailout help

Congress is looking at requiring US banks and other financial institutions to increase their lending after lawmakers complained at a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday that banks have not used the $163 billion that they've already received or been promised by the government to open up their credit lines for more lending. In New York, Sen. Charles Schumer said: "In these uncertain and difficult times, banks are inclined to hoard rather than to deploy capital." Schumer said that he and other lawmakers plan to require that banks do more lending to share in the second half of the $700 billion bailout program. The Treasury Department has to get fresh approval from Congress before it can spend any of that money.