These other two stories are a couple days old but still worth passing on.
Rep. Perriello broke from the party line and voted against the releasing of the rest of the $350 billion in bailout funds. He was concerned with the lack of accountability measures in the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). In a press release, Perriello stated:
“Citizens of the 5th District elected me to help replace the era of blank-check bailouts with a new era of accountability in our government, in our corporations, and in our personal lives. We must move from quick-fixes to solutions based on investment and recovery in order to turn our economy around,” said Perriello. “If the TARP funds are released over my objections, I am urging President Obama to adopt these new, stringent accountability measures to make sure our taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely, effectively, and transparently to create jobs. Compared to last year’s bailout, these common-sense accountability measures represent the change that voters demanded and that Virginia’s working families deserve.”
Reps. Perriello and Doggett's CLASS Act bill is headed to the House floor, funded for $13.5 billion. According to their press release (Jim White has the full text here):
U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Congressman Tom Perriello (D-Virginia) today welcomed House Ways and Means Committee approval of a tuition and textbook tax credit in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. (H.R. 598). This higher education tax credit is drawn from legislation they filed earlier this year.They also offered a concise description of their bill in the release:
For 2009 and 2010, H.R. 598 provides taxpayers with a new American Opportunity Tax Credit of up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition and related expenses paid during the taxable year. The American Opportunity Tax Credit would replace the Hope Tax Credit and the above-the-line tuition tax deduction for the next two years. For the first time, textbooks would be included in the higher education expenses that would be eligible for the tax credit. Forty percent of the tax credit – up to $1000 – would be refundable. This tax credit will be subject to a phase-out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $80,000 ($160,000 for married couples filing jointly). This will provide an estimated $13.5 billion in tax relief.