The bill is here, what does it do differently than the rejected House bill?
Very little, and what little it does change enhances the Secretary's discretion. A line by line comparison reveals these differences:
- The Senate bill sort of encourages the Secretary to take non-voting equity, if he takes equity (permitting the acquisition of "voting stock with respect to which, the Secretary agrees not to exercise voting")
- It gives the Secretary flexibility on what to do about equity shares of companies that fail ("such warrants shall convert to senior debt, or contain appropriate protections for the Secretary to ensure that the Treasury is appropriately compensated for the in an amount determined by the Secretary")
- Surely that more than doubling of the FDIC limit comes with some new oversight details? Literally no ("$250,000" substituted for "$100,000"), and no assessment increase - and that's it. It is one of the few mechanisms that isn't administered by the Secretary, though (the FDIC or its credit union analog "may request from the Secretary, and the Secretary must approve, a loan or loans in an amount or amounts necessary to carry out this subsection, without regard to the limitations on such borrowing")
The Senate bill includes a few bits of pork - or at least legislation unrelated to the housing bailout. Political types can speculate as to whether these additions are meant to appeal to wayward Democrats or Republicans in the House, but the statute devotes even more pages to alternative energy credits, a series of tax amendments, and, as the Senate says, an effort "to require equity in the provision of mental health and substance-related disorder benefits under group health plans, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance," than it does to the bailout plan itself.
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1. Posted by fedgovernor on October 1, 2008 @ 17:16 | Permalink
"The Senate bill includes a few bits of pork ..."
See, there really isn't a real emergency.
In a real economic emergency for the country, you wouldn't need to bribe Senators and Representatives with pork in order to get them to vote for a bailout which seems to guarantee profits for the Yacht Club on Wall Street in New York.
In a real economic crisis, our Representatives and Senators would come together to do the right thing out of love of country. Out of a sense of duty.
Instead, what we are seeing is pork-barrel bribery.
It's disgusting ... but it's certainly excellent evidence that Americans of all political stripes should not believe their political leadership when it comes to the necessity of the bailout.
Americans aren't stupid and the Senate would be advised to remember that.