Actually, it's simply a continuation of a House bill, which is where all appropriations must originate.
But since the H.R.'s 110 page attempt went down in flames, it's the Senate's turn. 450 pages worth of turn. Pure pork & special interest.
It's classic military tactic. How a small, determined force can overwhelm a desperate, larger one. The Repubs are on the offensive. The Dems in prevent. But it's first & ten at the five. Call it compromise or your wallet burning. No difference, at this point.
But remember that the Treasury's first proposal was only three pages long.
So what's in it?
At the heart is still the $700,000,000,000.00 bailout for fannie/freddie/et al bad debt legislated by Congress over the last 15 years.
Plus all the earmark tit-for-tat: Extension tax breaks thru 2009; FDIC cap raised to $250K; Landmark mental health requirement for insurance; Federal aid to rural schools; etc.; Shelter for 20 million tax payers from the alternative minimum tax; Tax subsidies for fishermen effect by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill??, Puerto Rican rum producers, film and television productions; building race tracks!; wool research; and the ever important bail out for mfgs. of children's wooden arrows - the H.R. cork for all these earmark darts.
"This is how Washington works," said Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington research group. "A big pot of pork is their recipe for final passage."Willie Sutton should have been in Congress.
Oh, it all passed the Senate last night, 74-25. McCain & Obama both voted in favor. It now goes to the H.R., where it could still fail.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) slammed the bill in a harsh floor speech, saying it represents the government leading the country “into the depths of socialism.”
Grand total: $840,000,000,000.00
Your great grand kids