Alright, so I’ve been watching C-SPAN throughout the day as much as I could, and saw everything from the US-India nuclear agreement and the Amtrak bill to the discussion on the Financial Industry Bailout bill. They’ll be voting on that next, and I’ll be live blogging as they vote, whether it looks like it’ll pass or fail. The rumor is that it’s expected to pass the 60-vote threshold, since they added some tax cut packages; however, these packages were rejected earlier in the week by the house, so it may clear the Senate, but fail the House by more than H.R. 3997 did.
This is now discussion on H.R. 1424, the Paul Wellstone (former Senator from MN) Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007:
Bernie Sanders (I-VT), speaking for an amendment on the bailout bill, although he’s stated that he is against the bailout bill overall.
Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), now speaking that the current bill is a good bill, and it’s “necessary that we pass it now.” He is saying that Senator Sanders amendment would be bad for taxpayers.
Vote on the Amendment:
The Noes have it.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), now speaking. Saying that it’s the waning hours of the Senate, and that the Senators depend on their staff a lot, talking about them working unbelievable hours: “they make this place operate.” Talking about the Legislative Clerk, David Tinsley. Thanking him for his service.
Mitch McConnell (R-KY), now wishing Tinsley well in his retirement.
McConnell now speaking again, there’s 2 minutes to each side. Talking about the bipartisan work in coming together to build a bill to resolve this financial crisis. Saying that Senators Gregg and Dodd (who were appointed as designees for delegating time for discussion, etc) did a good job on the bill. Saying that this will help resolve the “problems facing mainstream Americans.” Saying that “we came together” in the middle of an election year. He’s congratulating Senators for coming together and urges the passage of the bill.
Senator Reid: Is now reading letters from people who have written in to him, regarding the financial bill. Saying that this bill isn’t for Wall Street, but for families across America. Well, Mr. Reid, it may not be for them, but it’s going to benefit them for a time, and ultimately hurt American families. Talking about keeping taxpayers first. But this isn’t going to keep taxpayers safe. He’s saying it’s an investment, but this will only set precedent for further government losses. He’s talking about giving help to people who will have their homes foreclosed on, but it’s their fault they bought houses the couldn’t afford. We have to draw the line, and helping people avoid foreclosure will only set precedent and make the situation worse. Talking about getting alternative energy (BUT HE DIDN’T MENTION NUCLEAR!). Talking about how much land in Nevada is owned by the government – 87% of the land is owned by the federal government, and 40% is no-flyover – I never realized it’s so much! Some Senator’s cell phone went off. Now talking about “each Senator … facing a critical test of leadership” tonight. “Help is on the way.”
They’re voting now on an amendment to H.R. 1424 (a mental health bill which also had a tax break section added into it, as I said above), which will add the Emergency Economic Stabalization section to the bill – I thought McConnell had leader time to speak still???
Calling the roll:
Feingold: No – WHAT!
Hagel: Aye – DANG IT!
Nelson (FL): No
Nelseon (NE): Aye
The vote passes 74-25. The Amendment having 60 votes, the amendment is agreed to. (I later found out that Senator Ted Kennedy was not present tonight, as he is having medical difficulties. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Senator).
Reid is now speaking, saying he’s happy with tonight’s vote. “When we work together, we can accomplish good things. … Thank you” to everyone.
Now the vote on HR 1424, a Mental Health Bill which now includes the above amendment. This bill is expeced to pass.
And I’ve lost sound on C-SPAN?? It’s too hard to keep up with her on this one – I’ll summarize it once they’re done voting.
And we’ve now lost all sound from C-SPAN, so I’m clueless as to what’s going on. The vote tally listed on the screen is for the amendment to the bill, so I’m not sure if the bill is passing as of now or not, but as I said above, this bill is expected to pass. It’s funny, the media is now reporting that the Senate passed the bailout bill, although all they actually did was add it on to another bill, which they’re just voting on now.
It passed 74-25. The bill, as amended, has passed, having obtained 60 votes.
I’m guessing that the votes were the same as on the amendment.
And they’re moving on to other business. I’m done!
I really don’t think this bill should’ve passed. Obviously I think it’s better than the first bill, but I’m still not happy with it. We’ll see what happen in the House later this week.
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