Wednesday, October 1, 2008

U.S. Senate Passes Revised 450-Page Wall Street Bailout Bill 74-25, Utah Senators Bob Bennett And Orrin Hatch Vote Yes

On Wednesday October 1st, 2008, the U.S. Senate passed the latest version of the "bailout" bill by a 74-25 vote. Breakdown by party: 39 Democrats, 34 Republicans and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut voted Yes, while 9 Democrats, 15 Republicans and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont voted No. Utah Senators Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch voted Yes. A complete roll call can be viewed HERE.

Utah media stories published by the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, and KSL Channel 5 (with 606 public comments so far).

Loaded up with $100 billion in new perks to make it more digestible to fractious lawmakers, the bill, officially designated the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act Of 2008", has grown from 110 pages to 450 pages. Some of the additions, ferreted out by Gather.com, are pure pork. However, according to CNNMoney, there are a number of significant additions:

- Temporarily raises the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000 from $100,000; FDIC may not charge member banks more to cover the increase in coverage.

- Allows the FDIC to borrow from the Treasury to cover any losses that might occur as a result of the higher insurance limit.

- Extends a number of renewable energy tax breaks for individuals and businesses, including a deduction for the purchase of solar panels.

- Renews the research and development credit for businesses and the credit that allows individuals to deduct state and local sales taxes on their federal returns.

- Provides another year of relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax, without which millions of Americans would have to pay the so-called "income tax for the wealthy."

The Salt Lake Tribune and KTVX Channel 4 reported that Senator Orrin Hatch was at first reluctant to support the plan to buy up toxic mortgage-related debt from struggling banks. But with the credit markets seizing up and the stock market falling, he said Congress had little choice but to support the bailout.

Senator Bob Bennett, a senior member of the banking committee, has been one of the bailout's biggest supporters. He said it was good medicine for an ailing economy, but warned it is not a cure-all. He still believes we are headed for a recession, but he thinks the bill will result in a milder recession.

On Friday October 3rd, the bill goes to the House. Rep. Chris Cannon, who voted for the first bill, is likely to vote for this version. Rep. Bob Bishop, who voted against the first bill, is softening his opposition. Bishop liked the additions to the bill, especially the money for rural Western counties and tax breaks for renewable energy, but he had not yet decided if it was enough to change his vote. As for Rep. Jim Matheson, his office did not say if the additions had any impact on his position on the bill. Update October 2nd: KSL now reports that Matheson will vote against the revised bill as presently written. His objection: pork.

All members of the Utah delegation report that consituent feedback, which initially was overwhelmingly against the bailout, is slowly shifting. Monday's mega-drop in the stock market seems to have sobered some people up.

A new story posted by Time explains why "Main Street" is mad. Opponents of the bailout tend to group into two categories. Unconditional opponents think any bailout is an outrage at a time when CEOs have been getting such huge bonuses. These people are so outraged that they don't get past that issue. Conditional opponents do reluctantly concede that some intervention is necessary to avert financial calamity, but are outraged that Congress would pass any bill that is so inequitable to Main Street. The latter group now appears to be larger. People in both groups also question why it is so urgent to pass legislation immediately; they are suspicious of Henry Paulson's sense of urgency. They want a thorough debate.

And I hope the House does not allow itself to be stampeded on Friday. It is better to hold out for a good bill, regardless of the risks, than rush a bad bill through.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Bishop does change his vote, whatever excuse he gives will just be him covering his butt since the underlying bailout is no different from what the House rejected on Monday except for one totally cosmetic change (the temporary increase in FDIC coverage--see the Boston Globe's article). I love that Bishop mentions money for rural Western counties as one reason why he might vote Yea. When that exact same bill language with the exact same offset came to the House floor as a stand-alone bill, he voted No.

CQ TODAY PRINT EDITION – TAXES
June 5, 2008 – 6:03 p.m.
House Rejects Measure On Lost Property Taxes
By Kathryn A. Wolfe, CQ Staff

The House rejected a bill Thursday intended to help states recoup
property taxes lost due to having large tracts of federal land, which
the White House had threatened would be vetoed.

The bill (HR 3058) was originally slated for consideration June 3.
Thursday's vote was 218-193, less than the two-thirds majority needed
to pass under suspension of the rules.

On June 4, the White House issued a statement saying President Bush
would veto the bill because it would cost too much and would offset spending by imposing fees on some oil and gas producers.

The measure would reauthorize through fiscal 2011 the Secure Rural Schools program, which helps offset the loss of tax revenue from
federal lands. The federal government has provided funding since the early 1900s for rural schools in counties containing land designated as national forests, primarily through timber sales. But that income had declined sharply by 2000.

The bill would allow counties to opt to receive 25 percent of the
revenues from economic activities on National Forest lands and 50
percent on Bureau of Land Management lands, in lieu of traditional direct payments.

Republicans and the White House criticized the measure because it
would offset the cost by imposing a fee on oil and gas producers in
the Gulf of Mexico that erroneously received permanent royalty-free leases in 1998 and 1999. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the change would raise about $3.4 billion in revenue.

Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said the bill would drive gasoline prices even
higher. "It will be a breach of the oil and gas leases, designed to
punish energy companies and discourage much-needed oil and gas
production," Bishop said during debate June 4. "It appears now almost as if political games are being played."

Bishop called the offset a "phony" mechanism intended to help
Democrats comply with pay-as-you-go rules, and he said the money would not be there once the measure is enacted.

"It's not phony," Peter A. DeFazio, D‑Ore., shot back. "It's just painful."

"Schools, teachers, cops, [versus] Big Oil," he added. "It's a tough
choice for some people — not for me."

Deseret Dawg said...

Rob Bishop makes me wonder sometimes. I seem to recall that he was running interference for Italian companies who wanted to dump nuclear waste in Utah, until Huntsman threw up a Stop sign.

If the House votes Yes on this bill, we'll know that the Senate bought the Yes vote with all the pork injected into the bill.

Anonymous said...

*


Recently an insurance company nearly wind up....


A bank is nearly bankrupt......filing chapter 11 protection.


How it affect you? Did you buy insurance? Did you buy mini note or bonds?



Who fault?


They bailout trouble finance company, but they will not bail out your credit card bills……And the bill out of company is still not enough yet…….You got no choice, and no point pointing finger but you can prevent similar things from happen again……


The top management of the Public listed company ( belong to "public" ) salary should be tied a portion of it to the shares price ( IPO or ave 5 years ).... so when the shares price drop, it don't just penalise the investors, but those who don't take care of the company.....If this rule is pass on, without any need of further regulation, all industries ( as long as it is public listed ) will be self regulated......because the top management will be concern about their own pay check…… And they are still spend big money on hotel stay and luxury function……..

Meanwhile if company was being acquired, there will be a great movement in terms of staff……eventually staff suffer also.

Are you a partisan?

Sign a petition to your favourite president candidate, congress member, House of representative again and ask for their views to not just comment on this, and what regulations they are going to commit and implementation the regulation, I believe should vote for the one who come suggest good implementation and let’s see who back up, which don’t implement after just mentioning in the election campaign.....If you agree on my point, please share with many people as possible.... Finance and Media are the two only industries can shaken politics ( Maybe Hackers can ), please help to highlight also...

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