Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Senate to Vote Wednesday on Bailout Plan
That's right I said the Senate.
Senate leaders scheduled a Wednesday vote on a $700 billion financial bailout package after agreeing to add tax breaks and a higher limit for insured bank deposits in a bid to attract enough votes to reverse a shocking defeat in the House and send legislation to President Bush by the end of the week.
After a day of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, top lawmakers said the Senate proposal would include a tax package as well as a plan endorsed on Tuesday by both major presidential candidates and the Bush administration to raise government coverage for bank deposits.
“It has been determined, in our judgment, this is the best thing to move forward,” said Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and the majority leader, in announcing the surprise move. “This is good for the country.”
We are being told. It doesn't matter what we think as citizens or how much we object. In the news tonite I noticed several Senators sheepishly saying that they were going to have to ignore our phone calls and letters directing them over the matter. "We ere after all elected by the people to make difficult decisions." said Diana Degette of Colorado. We don't have to listen to all the phone calls."
The senators issued no details of their proposal and said none would be available until Wednesday. The lawmakers were gambling that the tax breaks for businesses and alternative energy would appeal to lawmakers who helped sink the measure in the House on Monday, without driving off Democrats who have opposed extending the tax incentives without offsetting spending cuts elsewhere.
Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Senate banking committee, said the Senate decided to move quickly, citing signs from some House members that they regretted their initial vote after the markets plunged in response.
“I think their will is coming back having heard from their constituents,” Mr. Dodd said.
WTF? No it's going to take more than that to get re-elected Mr. Dodd. The American people have spoken. If you do not listen to them. You do so knowing that when your term is up. You may be like the rest of us....OUT OF A JOB!
So proceed. . . .remember we are going to the polls in a few weeks.
President Bush who is calling for such quick unvetted action to stabilize the markets and avoid what Mr. Bush characterized as the threat of “painful and lasting” damage to the economy will not be there in January.
Isn't anyone seriously asking why we are in this situation? Taking names?
“I started hearing from a lot of people who lost money on their investments thanks to the big drop on Wall Street yesterday,” said Representative Steven C. LaTourette, Republican of Ohio, who voted against the plan.
As they explored ways to tinker with the proposal in consultation with the Bush administration, all sides agreed any revisions would not change the underlying concept of granting the Treasury Department access to up to $700 billion to purchase — and eventually resell — troubled securities that were clogging the financial system.
It was a delicate balancing act for the architects of the proposal who had to be careful that in adding elements to entice new support they did not lose the support they already had.
“Obviously you don’t want to do something to lose votes,” said Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, who was among Senate Democrats who huddled Tuesday to discuss possible alterations in the proposal.
House leaders were reviewing the new Senate approach and had no immediate reaction on whether they thought it could prevail. The Senate left the door open slightly to other additions to the bill, but other revisions would have to get the agreement of the full Senate, meaning major provisions such as new homeowner tax credits sought by the House would not be considered.
Hey I know let's do what you guys ususally do and throw in the kitchen sink. It will pass for sure that way.
“Opening this up all over again to other things may doom it,” Mr. Dodd cautioned
The Senate tax bill would cost more than $100 billion and extend and expand many individual and business tax breaks, including tax credits for the production and use of renewable energy sources, like solar energy and wind power. The bill would also extend the business tax credit for research and development, expand the child tax credit, protect millions of families from the alternative minimum tax and provide tax relief to victims of recent floods, tornadoes and severe storms.
Members of the House and the Senate say the bill say this new version would create tens of thousands of jobs and reduce the nations’ dependence on foreign oil. But the two chambers have been at odds over whether and how to offset the cost of extending the many tax breaks covered by the legislation. The major obstacle has been Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, and other centrist Democrats.
Senate and House leaders had been debating whether the Senate, where support for the proposal runs deep, should vote first to provide some momentum for a second vote across the Capital Rotunda. Some senators were leery of going on the record if the legislation could not prevail in the House, but others backed the idea of the Senate taking the lead.
“I would support the Senate going first, which we would be willing to do as early as tomorrow if that would make this process successful,” Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, said in a conference call on Tuesday.