Friday, October 03, 2008

Congress Passes Financial System Bailout Bill

The Senate passed its financial system bailout bill (H.R. 1424) 74 to 25 on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 and the House passed the bill 263 to 171 on Friday, October 3, 2008. President Bush signed it the same day.

The financial system bailout bill includes:

Purchase of up to $700 billion in troubled Mortgage Backed Securities

$250 available immediately

$100 billion at president's discretion

$350 billion subject to congressional review

Requirements for executive pay limits

Creation of several layers of oversight

An increase in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation coverage of bank deposits from $100,000 to $250,000, as well as extensions of tax credits [see below] and a freeze on the expansion of the Alternative Minimum Tax added an extra $140 billion to the original $700 billion price tag.

They put the Senate version of the renewables tax package, which includes wind, solar and plug-in electric cars, in the bill (H.R. 7060). Efforts to take away tax benefits from oil and gas companies and use them as offsets for renewables have repeatedly failed.

[Text of H.R. 1424]

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