US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has announced that the $700bn (£425bn) US financial bail-out fund will be extended until October next year.
The extension was "necessary to assist American families and stabilise financial markets", he said in a letter to congressional leaders.
The programme had been due to be shut down this month. Mr Geithner will be cross examined on Capitol Hill over plans to extend it until October. Many in Congress are opposed to any shift in the fund's use.
Karen Nye reports.