See What People Are Saying About... New Bailout Proposal


The U.S. Senate will seek a vote on the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan some time after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

If the Senate passes the legislation, it must still be approved by the House which voted against a similar bill Monday after lawmakers were flooded with e-mails and calls from constituents angry at the idea of bailing out Wall Street at taxpayer expense.

Dan K. wants to see some kind of rescue package passed. He writes, "Ignorant people do ignorant things. Make the congressmen (understand) what happens to Main Street's savings and retirement funds when banks can’t lend out money!"

Jim C. has a different view entirely. He says, "It is absurd and disheartening to hear that yet another vote on the bailout will commence. The people have already spoken and our representatives are not listening very well."

And that leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll. Do you think lawmakers will come together and get this new bailout passed?

The Senate Proposal

—The Senate hopes to bring political and public pressure on the House to pass a bill by taking the lead on what President Bush and top economic officials have called a "critically important" plan to avert lasting damage to the U.S. economy.

—The measure will require 60 votes to pass, instead of a simple majority in the 100-member chamber. This was the arrangement under which Senate leaders agreed to bring it to the floor for a vote quickly.

—The Senate will seek to add sweeteners to the bill to help sway reluctant House Democrats and Republicans, who fear they otherwise could lose their seats in the Nov. 4 elections if they vote for it.

—The changes sought by the Senate are aimed at convincing vulnerable House lawmakers the plan is an economic rescue that benefits Main Street, not just Wall Street, and making it more politically palatable for them to vote yes.

—They include a higher limit for government-insured bank deposits. The presidential candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, as well as key congressional negotiators support this. In addition, the Senate will seek to renew tax breaks for businesses and alternative energy.

—Raising the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp caps on bank deposits to $250,000 from $100,000 and the tax provisions make the bill more appealing to House Republicans.

—But the tax breaks could drive away conservative Democrats in the House who have long argued any tax cuts should be paid for with other spending reductions or tax increases.

—Obama and McCain will leave the campaign trail to return to Washington for the Senate vote, in a show of bipartisanship that could help put pressure on recalcitrant party members in the House.

—Democratic and Republican leaders in the House need to convince at least a dozen lawmakers to change their votes in order to try again to pass the bill in coming days.

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