) -- The Treasury Department now estimates that the long-term cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program will be $200 billion lower than initially forecasted.

Over the next 10 years, TARP will cost $141 billion at most, down from the $341 billion the White House projected in August, the

Wall Street Journal

reports, citing a Treasury report. This reduction is attributable to faster-than-expected repayments by some banks and less government spending on the financial sector which has seen some improvement this year.

Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report

recently said it would repay $45 billion, and the government now expects total repayments to reach as much as $175 billion by the end of next year. The Treasury Department has invested $204 billion in 690 firms. It has collected $10 billion in interest and dividend payments from these firms, the



Two Treasury officials told the

New York Times

the Treasury Department expects to recover all but $42 billion of the $370 billion it has lent so far from the $700 billion bailout program authorized by Congress. The Treasury is expected to present a report to Congress on Monday.

The officials said the government could ultimately lose $100 billion more from the bailout program in new loans to banks, aid to troubled homeowners and credit to small businesses, the



The White House and leaders in Congress are debating whether to use any of the remaining TARP funds for other domestic efforts including a jobs bill, the