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Lincoln leans toward support of bailout

With a Senate vote on the $700 billion financial bailout bill just a few hours away, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., signaled Wednesday she would support the measure.

Lincoln said she still wanted to talk to a few more of her colleagues about the bill intended to stabilize the nation’s imperiled economy, but that: “I definitely think that doing nothing is not an option.”

The House rejected its bailout effort Monday, sending the stock market into a tailspin.

The Senate added to its version an extension of popular tax breaks on businesses in a move designed to lure support from House Republicans. A business research and development tax credit, incentives for renewable energy and a fix to protect more than 20 million Americans from the alternative minimum tax (AMT) is in the Senate bill.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House would take up the measure (if approved by the Senate) Friday, only if leaders knew they had the votes to pass it.

Lincoln said her constituents have made it clear Congress needs to do something, even if the bill may appear unsavory.

The measure is much improved over an initial Bush administration proposal that didn’t set limits on executive compensation and pledged a full $700 billion automatically. Lincoln said the Senate bill applies more accontability and transparency into how the government adminsters the bailout plan.

“We’re going to try to take a two-pronged approach here, which is making money available in installments,” she said. “The first, being $250 billion, then an extra $100 billion would be available for the executive branch to use if necessary.”

Lincoln called the tax breaks a “parallel approach” to the rescue plan for fixing the economy.

“Business and industry are the engine of the economy,” she said. “We have to make sure the jobs they have, they keep, and the jobs they want to give, they can give.”

While the tax package may entice House Republicans, it may put off a number of fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats. Blue Dogs oppose tax breaks that aren’t offset in the federal budget by additional revenue.

The incentives are partially offset with tax hikes for oil companies and closure of a corporate tax loophole. Still, about $25 billion would be added to the budget deficit under the proposal, Lincoln said.

“I try to be fiscally responsible, too, that’s important,” she said. “But we’re looking at a circumstance that needs a timely response.”

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2 Responses to “Lincoln leans toward support of bailout”

  1. October 2nd, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    annoyed says:

    A lot of senators have to be responsible about the earmarks that have been added to this bill. Who pushed for them and why they had to behere on this bill. They are making voters very angry about all the earmarks added here that cost so much money and is not necessary. I do not believe that our best interests are at heart here. Just a way to get more money out of us and keep us down. I am ashamed that our elected leaders never learn. I hope they are all voted out in November or as soon as they come up for re-election.

  2. October 4th, 2008 at 7:25 am

    annoyed says:

    This goes double for me. I think at a time when you saddle the electorate with so much debt with an economy in such bad shape you are the irresponsible one. Especially when you just stand there and let them put so much pork in a bill that is supposedly so important. Voters have to wake up. I for one will never support Lincoln and Pryor again. They have shown that they do not deserve our trust. Lots of politicians do not deserve our trust. Just hog tied us with this crap and will keep Barney Franks, Harry Reid, Pelosi, And Chris Dodd in their seats. Talk about lipstick on a PIG.

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