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Kill the bailout: The “fast track” devil in the details

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 28, 2008 05:32 PM

I’ve just given the draft bailout bill a first read (link here; there’s apparently a more recent draft posted at the House Financial Services cmte website, but it’s currently inaccessible).

There’s a lot of b.s. stuffed in it (more to come), but let’s start with one section that warrants your attention– Section 115 (c). It appears that Hank Paulson and the cackling Democrats have written in a provision that codifies the short-circuiting of the democratic process:

(c) FAST TRACK CONSIDERATION.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Secretary may not exercise any authority to make purchases under this Act with regard to any amount in excess of $350,000,000,000 previously obligated, as described in this section if, within 10 calendar days after the date on which Congress receives a report of the Secretary described in subsection (a)(3), Congress enacts a joint resolution disapproving the plan of the Secretary with respect to such additional amount.

Several readers translate this the same way I do: As long as Congress doesn’t specifically schedule and hold a vote in 10 days after the first $350 billion tranche, the next bailout wave automatically kicks in.

So much for “accountability.”

Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Read a little more and you’ll find a limitation on the number of hours our representatives are allowed to debate the next bailout resolutions, as well as restrictions on adding amendments and filing motions to postpone:

…(3) REFERRAL TO COMMITTEE.—A resolution described in paragraph (2) introduced in the House of Representatives shall be referred to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives. A resolution described in paragraph (2) introduced in the Senate shall be referred to the Committee on Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate. Such a resolution may not be reported before the 8th day after its introduction.

(4) DISCHARGE OF COMMITTEE.—If the committee to which is referred a resolution described in paragraph (2) has not reported such resolution (or an identical resolution) at the end of 8 calendar days after its introduction, such committee shall be deemed to be discharged from further consideration of such resolution, and such resolution shall be placed on the appropriate calendar of the House involved.

(5) FLOOR CONSIDERATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—When the committee to which a resolution described in paragraph (2) is referred has reported, or has been deemed to be discharged (under paragraph (4)) from further consideration of, a resolution described in paragraph (2), it is at any time thereafter in order (even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) for any Member of the respective House to move to proceed to the consideration of the resolution, and all points of order against the resolution (and against consideration of the resolution) are waived. The motion is highly privileged in the House of Representatives and is privileged in the Senate and is not debatable. The motion is not subject to amendment, or to a motion to postpone, or to a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the resolution is agreed to, the resolution shall remain the unfinished business of the respective House until disposed
of.

(B) DEBATE.—Debate on the resolution, and on all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 10 hours, which shall be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the resolution. A motion further to limit debate is in order and not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the resolution is not in order. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the resolution is agreed to or disagreed to is not in order.

(C) VOTE ON FINAL PASSAGE.—Immediately following the conclusion of the debate on a resolution described in paragraph (2), and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested in accordance with the rules of the appropriate House.

But now we should just all shut up. Because questioning the rush to ram this trillion-dollar-plus “rescue” down our throats is, you know, “unpatriotic.”

***

Update 5:40pm Eastern. Gag. Unscrupulous borrower Chris Dodd is heaping praise on Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi is pushing her “Blame Bush” agenda. Reid says Wednesday is the target day.

The Dems keep repeating their “taxpayer protection” and “accountability” talking points.

Which reminds me of Section 101 of the draft bill titled “PREVENTING UNJUST ENRICHMENT:”

PREVENTING UNJUST ENRICHMENT.—In making purchases under the authority of this Act, the Secretary shall take such steps as may be necessary to prevent unjust enrichment of financial institutions participating in a program established under this section, including by preventing the resale of a troubled asset to the Secretary at a higher price than what the seller paid to purchase the asset. This subsection does not apply to troubled assets acquired in a merger or acquisition, or a purchase of assets from a financial institution in conservatorship or receivership, or that has initiated bankruptcy proceedings under title 11, United States Code.

Does not apply, in other words, to Fannie/Freddie, JP Morgan Chase/Bear Stearns, WaMu, and Lehman.

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