Saturday, October 04, 2008

House Passes Bloated Emergency Economic Rescue Bill

Do-overs are usually reserved for kids on the playground and a rare mulligan is often offered to a novice golfer, but they are rarely seen at the top tier of American politics. Only 2 days after the Senate passed an updated and bloated version of the Wall Street Bailout Bill, the House of Representatives took up the measure again on Friday afternoon and delivered the "bacon" that President George Bush had sought.

If you recall, this whole mess began last week when Treasury Secretary Paulson presented congressional leaders with a 3-page treatment that Bush wanted enacted with the utmost urgency. That 3 pager turned into a 100-page House version, which was soundly rejected. That 100-page House version was pumped up with earmarks and "sweeteners" to enhance the taste and easily passed the Senate at 451 pages! The Senate version is what passed on Friday.

The "sweeteners" in the updated bill include:
  • An increase in the amount that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will insure in bank accounts: to $250,000, up from $100,000

  • A fix that would prevent middle-class taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax

  • A number of tax extensions favored by either Republicans or Democrats

  • Tax exemptions for renewable energy

  • A measure that would require health insurers to treat mental health issues the same way they treat physical illnesses

Even though, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was on board for the bill from the start, House Democrats in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) did not follow his lead and voted "no" on Monday. He did make calls to a number of CBC members, which prompted them to change their vote to "aye." Those included Georgia CBC members John Lewis, David Scott, and Sanford Bishop. In a surprising act of gumption, my congressman, Hank Johnson, voted "no" on Monday and on Friday!

The bill passed by a vote of 263-171, with the Republicans (and Hank Johnson) of the Georgia delegation voting "no." President Bush wasted no time - it was about two hours after the vote in the House - in signing the bill into law.

    The Georgia Delegation vote:
  • John Barrow, Democrat, of Savannah: No

  • Sanford Bishop, Democrat of Albany: Yes

  • Paul Broun, Republican of Athens: No

  • Nathan Deal, Republican of Gainesville: No

  • Phil Gingrey, Republican of Marietta: No

  • Hank Johnson, Democrat of Lithonia: No
    (plezWorld's congressman)

  • Jack Kingston, Republican of Savannah: No

  • John Lewis, Democrat of Atlanta: Yes

  • John Linder, Republican of Duluth: No

  • Jim Marshall, Democrat of Macon: Yes

  • Tom Price, Republican of Roswell: No

  • David Scott, Democrat of Atlanta: Yes

  • Lynn Westmoreland, Republican of Grantville: No

Read and download a summary of the final version of the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" PDF LINK

Read and download a section-by-section analysis of the final version of the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" PDF LINK

Read and download all 451 pages of the final version of the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" PDF LINK

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Read the article about how the Georgia Delegation voted here.

Read the article about Bush signing the Wall Street Bailout Bill here.

Read the articles about the political side of the Wall Street Bailout Law here and here.

Read the New York Times article about the House's vote on the Wall Street Bailout Bill here.

plez sez: well, the House capitulated and passed the legislation. unfortunately, they buckled under the pressure from House and Senate leaders and a lame duck President and too much sizzlin' bacon to pass up the opportunity to lap up the swill from the trough!

the bill (which is now law) was forced down the throats of the Americans who are left holding the bag for the companies that got us into this mess. there is very little in the law that addresses those who have lost their homes to foreclosure, those companies who can't meet the payroll this week, or those folk who've had to file for bankruptcy already.

as plezWorld predicted, politics prevailed and the weasels that were sent to washington to protect the common man couldn't gird their loins against the onslaught of high pressure salesmanship by their leadership. i do applaud my congressman - Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) - for standing on principle and voting against this measure!

that $700 billion could've gone to protect the 600,000 Americans who've lost their jobs this year from foreclosure and bankruptcy... instead that money will go to reward the very institutions who abhor the government when they are reaping billions of dollars of profit, yet are lined up at the government teat as soon as their risky schemes go south.

this economy is STILL in shambles and even after being signed into law, the dow jones finished the day with a loss of over 150 points! this law fixes nothing and george bush doesn't repair his god-awful credibility with the US. and mark my words, wall street will be back within 12 months when we have a new president with new cache in congress.

the LAMEST of lame duck presidents suckered an opposition party-led congress into action again... a sad day in america, indeed!

1 comment:

DJ Black Adam said...

Well enumerated, I understand the politics of this a bit more now!