Senate Killed Previous "Main Street" Bailout Plan On Sept. 26, 2008

10/12/2008 07:02:00 AM

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428px-Red_flag_II.svg Late last month, Congress passed another industry bailout, offering $25 billion in federal loans to the nation's ailing automakers to help them develop more fuel-efficient engines.

While Congress was on it's way to passing the $700-billion Wall Street bailout plan, and push it through Congress in only three days, another economic stimulus measure died a quiet death in the Senate a few days prior. That a $58-billion proposal would have extended unemployment benefits, pumped billions of dollars into local infrastructure projects and increased funding for low-income nutrition and health-care programs.  In other words, rather than bailing out Wall Street, this bill would have helped Main Street America.  It didn't survive long.  Just hours after the Main Street America legislation passed in the House, it was killed in the Senate. 

Congress, specifically the Senate, has made clear where its priorities rest.  Despite its approval of the $700-billion in unpaid tax benefits - many members claimed the $58-bilion Main Street stimulus was just too expensive.  The Bush administration echoed that sentiment, saying the measure would not work and would cost too much, vowing to veto the bill.  But yet, Americans have lost $2 trillion in retirement benefits forever in the past 15 months.

In that  bill, there was an extension to unemployment benefits by seven weeks in all states and 13 weeks in states with higher unemployment rates, boost food stamp payments, temporarily increasing federal payments to states to finance Medicaid health care program, and build infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, water and sewer projects and school repairs.  And based upon budgets, with 34 states coming short of their fiscal 2009 budgets, cutting health care benefits, it was needed.

The House plan seemed more focused on spending that would have an immediate impact on job creation while the Senate wanted a wish-list of items long-sought by members of the Appropriations Committee, including money to provide the U.S. Capitol police with new radios, accelerate NASA's development of a new space vehicle and move the Department of Homeland Security to a new headquarters.

S. 3604 was titled as "A bill making emergency supplemental appropriations for economic recovery for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes."  The vote was  Yea-52, Nay 42, with 6 not voting.

Those who voted "Nay" on the bill in the Senate are as follows with how they also voted on the Wall Street Bailout bill:


Main Street Bail Out Bill
Sep. 26, 2008
S 3604
Wall Street Bail Out Bill
Oct. 1, 2008
HR 3397

Sessions (R)

Shelby (R)


Murkowski (R)


Kyl (R)


Allard (R)


Martinez (R)


Chambliss (R)

Isakson (R)


Craig (R)

Crapo (R)


Bayh (D)

Lugar (R)


Grassley (R)


Bunning (R)

McConnell (R)

Cochran (R)

Wicker (R)


Bond (R)

McCaskill (D)


Hagel (R)


Ensign (R)

New Hampshire

Gregg (R)

Sununu (R)

New Mexico

Domenici (R)

North Carolina

Burr (R)


Voinovich (R)


Coburn (R)

Inhofe (R)

South Carolina

DeMint (R)

South Dakota

Thune (R)


Alexander (R)

Corker (R)


Cornyn (R)

Hutchison (R)


Bennett (R)

Hatch (R)


Warner (R)


Barrasso (R)

Enzi (R)

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who voted down the Main Street bill, and voted for the Wall Street bill, has announced a post-election session beginning Nov. 17 to consider public lands legislation, which is obviously much more important than the current economy, considering his state has the highest forclosure rates, and nearly the highest unemployment rates in the nation.  His spokesman, Jim Manley, issued a written statement that said "recent developments only reinforce the need for additional action to reinvigorate the economy."  He added, "no decisions have yet been made on how to proceed."

Robert B. Reich, former Labor secretary under President Clinton and now professor public policy at the University of California, Berkely wrote last month;

"Bailout on Wall Street's bad debts when millions more American's can't pay their bills is like bailing out a rowboat springing more leaks while the ocean is rising."  "Unless Americans on Main Street have more money in their pockets, Wall Street's bad debts will continue to rise."

By the way, in a survey by Opinion Research Corporation released by CNN, 23 percent of respondents approve of the way Congress is performing.  CBS News' survey shows 15 percent approval, and 13 percent in polls by Opionion Dymanics for Fox News and Hart/Newhouse for the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  meanwhile, is trying to call Congress back to work after the election in hopes of passing legislation that would do the same again, but this time including a tax rebate.  The new bill's total could reach $150 billion this time.  However again, this would have to get past the Senate and the President.

And Bush seems only interested in fixing the markets, and helping the world, ignoring his own country's people.  Bush this week is meeting the G7, Japan, Germany, England, France, Italy and Canada, vowing a world economic fix.

"We must ensure the actions of one country do not contradict or undermine the actions of another.  In our interconnected world, no nation will gain by driving down the fortunes of another.  We're in this together.  We will come through it together."

In a statement release Friday, G7 finance ministers agreed to support important financial institutions and "take all necessary steps to unfreeze credit and money markets."  To that end, Paulson said the US government would do something it hasn't done since the Great Depression -- invest directly in troubled banks in exchange for stock. 

..... Can anyone say socialism?  I have a feeling that the "NWO" conspiracy buffs are having a field day with this, between many of the worlds largest banks being "nationalized" by their respective country.


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