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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Senate is now voting on their version of the bailout bill.

UPDATE: Looks to pass, 74-25. Like most facing tough races, NC's Dole votes against it.

UPDATE 2: The Politico details some of the almost $100B in "sweeteners" in the Senate version of the bill.

To calm voters fearful of bank failures, the $100,000 cap on federal insurance for deposits would also be raised to $250,000—a concession backed by both parties but also aimed at community banks who can be helpful in building small town support for the larger bill.

With each permutation, the bill has steadily grown in size. Treasury’s initial plan was about three pages long. The House version, which failed, stretched to 110. The Senate substitute now runs over 450 pages. And tucked away in the tax provisions is a landmark health care provision demanding that insurance companies provide coverage for mental health treatment—such as hospitalization—on parity with physical illnesses.

...The biggest single piece in the package is an extension of protections for millions of middle class families who would otherwise find themselves exposed to the higher levy under the alternative minimum tax. This alone accounts for about three quarters of the cost or $78.8 billion in 2009. Almost $14 billion more can be attributed to a variety of tax break extensions important to business, including the R&E credit worth about $8.4 billion in 2009.

The rural school aid is smaller —about $3.3 billion over the next five years— but has great importance for many Western communities and could be important then in the House.
The languishing solar energy provision I was unhappy about earlier was tucked in as well.