01 October 2008

Short Take: Senate Passes Bailout 74-25

The Senate has passed the bailout bill, as amended, 74-25 with one absence (Senator Kennedy).

The revised bill contains a number of provisions pretty much designed to suckerconvince naysayers in the House to vote for it. The actual bailout provisions are almost unchanged, but the following sweeteners have been added:
  • Authorize the FDIC to insure depositors for up to $250,000 per institution, rather than $100,000.
  • Patch the provisions of the Alternative Minimum Tax to allow for the drift of inflation.
  • Extend various tax breaks that were set to expire soon.
  • Enact new tax breaks, including credits for the use of renewable energy.
  • Provide virtually no new revenue or spending cuts to offset any of it.
The new bill is 4 times as voluminous in its language and basically filled with the sorts of things that never would have made it to the floor a week ago, because the committees kept wrangling over offsets and the like. Now, they're the most golden of golden carrots dangled in front of House members eager to get home and start fighting to keep their seats.

I will be shocked almost-but-not-quite-speechless if anything like the 218 former naysayers retain the courage to vote no in the face of such temptation.

No comments: