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October 01, 2008

Bill Passes 74-25
The Big Vote Thread
BIG CORRECTION: Bill Not Larded Up With Tax Breaks

Although this is, in fact, an extremely important vote, our genius senators don't seem to be treating it as such, do they?

See Below! Correction! I Was Massively Wrong There's a very interesting reason for this. Forget what I just said.

Those aren't earmarks, per se, as they're tax-break extensions, but they are special interest favors that certainly should not be in this bill. Tax breaks for the manufacture of wooden (and only wooden) arrows for children?


Who changes their mind about a $700 billion bill over such crap? There are actually Senators who can be bought off with such trivialities?

The political class has argued this is a crisis. As Glenn Reyonlds says, I'll believe it's a crisis when the people saying it's a crisis start acting like it.

Now, obviously, I believe it's a crisis. But it doesn't exactly reassure me that proponents of the bill apparently do not.

PS: I think this stuff will be scrubbed out, just as it was previously.

But what the hell are they doing larding the bill up with this in the first place?

Ah-HAH! There's a reason they've attached all that crap.

They didn't attach that crap to this bill. They attached this bill to that crap.

Why? Because all bills dealing with revenues must originate in the House. This one already came up from the House -- and it already passed the Senate 93-2.

So, to get around that, they took the bill that already passed the House -- one dealing with revenues -- and attached the bailout to it. The bailout bill is not being voted on, technically, itself (rules prevent that), so it's being voted on as an amendment to a House bill already passed.

It's purely a bit of procedural chicanery.

"the Senate is attaching the Treasury bailout to the AMT patch/tax extenders bill (H.R. 6049) that passed the Senate 93-2 last week. Note that this language contains far more tax relief than tax increases (i.e., it is a net tax cut by tens of billions of dollars). Americans for Tax Reform remained silent on the Senate-passed extenders bill and said it was NOT a taxpayer pledge violation."

So, yes, they're taking this legislation very seriously. They had to look for a House-initiated bill, that passed the Senate almost unanimously, in order to attach this bailout as an amendment (just like Dave J and Molon Labe already said.)

Thanks to notropis.

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