The Senate passed a new version of the financial industry bailout legislation. The House could hold another vote on the proposal as early as Friday.
The passage of the bill is a positive, though there were way too many unrelated amendments included in the legislation. For example, it provides tax credits for biodeisel and extends depreciation rules for restaurant improvements. There is a reason why this bill is 451 pages long.
New Tax earmarks in Bailout bill-Film and Television Productions (Sec. 502)
Wooden Arrows designed for use by children (Sec. 503) - 6 page package of earmarks for litigants in the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident, Alaska (Sec. 504)Tax earmark “extenders” in the bailout bill. - Virgin Island and Puerto Rican Rum (Section 308)-American Samoa (Sec. 309)-Mine Rescue Teams (Sec. 310)-Mine Safety Equipment (Sec. 311)-Domestic Production Activities in Puerto Rico (Sec. 312)-Indian Tribes (Sec. 314, 315)-Railroads (Sec. 316)-Auto Racing Tracks (317)-District of Columbia (Sec. 322)-Wool Research (Sec. 325)
So if an Indian got drunk on rum and drove around a NASCAR track , shooting arrows that are safe for children , then the Dow Jones Industrial Average would instantly go up 1,000 points?This is supposed to be an EMERGENCY bailout bill, to PREVENT A MELTDOWN!
The amendments were added to get additional votes. The question now is will the fiscal conservatives within the House balk now that the price tag of the bill has increased? News reports suggest voter anger following Monday's vote, so conventional wisdom suggests that the legislation will be passed, with probably an even higher price tag attached. All in all, there are $8-billion of appropriations in the Senate Bailout Bill that have nothing to do with preventing a banking meltdown.
Would I have preferred a "clean" bill without the extra amendments? Yes. But the Senate's bill does contain positives such as improved oversight, insurance for some debt and an increase in deposit insurance to $250,000 per bank account. The full text of the bill can be found on the Senate Banking Committee's web site.