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Title: Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to concur with Senate amendments and pass a bill that allows the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions, with a total outstanding balance of up to $700 billion, and also provides tax incentives for alternative energies and contains income tax and alternative minimum tax provisions.
- Establishes the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to allow the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase troubled assets from any financial institution (Div. A, Sec. 101).
- Sets the initial authority for purchasing troubled assets at $250 billion, allows for the President to extend the authority up to $350 billion, and allows for an extension of up to $700 billion with both Congressional and Presidential approval (Div. A, Sec. 115).
- Requires that any financial institution that has assets directly purchased by the Treasury have limits placed on executive compensation for the five highest paid employees, and allows for the government to recover compensation garnered through false earning statements and prohibits any "golden parachute" payments (Div. A, Sec. 111).
- Increases the limitation for the total public debt by $700 billion, for a total of $11.32 trillion, and requires that proceeds from sales of troubled assets under this bill be used to make payments on the national debt (Div. A, Secs. 106, 122).
- States that if mortgages or other assets secured by residential real estate are purchased by the Treasury, the Secretary of the Treasury must encourage use of the HOPE for Homeowners program. Also requires the Treasury Department to work with the Federal Housing Finance Agency and other agencies in order to improve the loan modification and restructuring process and reduce foreclosures (Div. A, Sec. 109).
- Teminates the Treasury's authority to purchase or insure troubled assets on December 31, 2009 unless the Secretary of the Treasury submits a certified extension to Congress (Div. A, Sec. 120).
- Extends tax credits for wind facilities and refined coal production facilities until January 1, 2010, extends tax credits for closed- and open-loop biomass facilities, geothermal or solar energy facilities, small irrigation power facilities, landfill gas facilities, trash combustion facilities, and qualified hydropower facilities until January 1, 2011, and applies this production credit to marine and hydrokinetic energy facilities until January 1, 2012 (Div. B, Secs. 101, 102).
- Extends the energy credit for solar energy properties, fuel cell properties, and microturbine properties through the 2016 calendar year (Div. B, Sec. 103).
- Provides a tax credit of $2,500 to $15,000 for the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles (Div. B, Sec. 205).
- Provides tax benefits for areas in the Midwest affected by flooding and storms, and for parts of Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Ike (Div. C, Sec. 702, 704).
- States that group health insurance plans offering mental health and substance abuse treatment must offer such coverage with financial requirements and treatment limitations that are no more restrictive than those associated with the medical and surgical coverage provided by the plan (Div. C, Sec. 512).
- Extends the business research credit through the 2009 calendar year (Div. C, Sec. 301).
- Extends tax deductions for qualified tuition expenses and for school-related expenses for elementary and secondary school teachers until through the 2009 calendar year (Div. C, Secs. 202, 203).
- Reduces the tax deduction available for income from the domestic production of oil and gas (Div. B, Sec. 401).
- Increases the amount of income exempt from the alternative minimum tax from $66,250 to $69,950 for a joint return or surviving spouse, and from $44,350 to $46,200 for an individual return (Div. C, Sec. 102).
- Extends the 6.2 percent Federal Unemployment Tax Act surtax that employers pay with respect to individual employees through 2009 (Div. B, Sec. 404).
- Extends the deadline for qualified individuals of 70 1/2 years of age or older to make tax-free charitable donations totaling up to $100,000 from individual retirement plans from December 31, 2007 to December 31, 2009 (Div. C, Sec. 205).
Note: The initial House passage of this bill (Roll 101 on March 5, 2008) did not include the economic package. At that time the bill focused on insurance coverage of mental illness and addiction, and employer and insurance practices involving genetic information. Senate vote 213 and House vote 681 contained the economic package.
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NOTE: THIS IS A SUBSTITUTE BILL, MEANING THE LANGUAGE OF THE ORIGINAL BILL HAS BEEN REPLACED. THE DEGREE TO WHICH THE SUBSTITUTE BILL TEXT DIFFERS FROM THE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE TEXT CAN VARY GREATLY.