Bailout Bill to Happen Now? Maybe?


The Senate has come up with a new version of the bailout plan, which they’re expected to vote on tonight. The new plan is basically the same as the old plan, only it includes provisions that boost deposit-insurance limits from Reagan-era $100,000 up to $250,000 (either John McCain or Barack Obama’s idea, depending who you ask) and add tax breaks for businesses and alternative energy for two years, in hopes that these things, plus the nosedive the market took in response to the initial vote, will sway those House Republicans who were largely responsible for the thwarting of the bill.

But appeasing the Republicans may come at the price of appalling the Democrats. The tax breaks, which Bloomberg estimates as costing around $149 billion, will not be offset by any increase in revenue, which might make fiscally conservative Democrats nervous and complicate the vote. “There’s no doubt the tax package is very controversial,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said this morning on the Today show. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the Senate added this because they thought that’s the only way they could get it passed.”

For maximum drama, the Senate vote is scheduled to happen after “sundown” tonight.