Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that on October 1, 2008, the Senate passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The Senate added as an amendment, H.R.1424, an earlier House bill which was passed on March 3, 2008 to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. By a vote of 74 yeas and 25 nays, the Senate passed a new version of H.R.1424 with an amendment which included the bailout plan and several tax extensions including a two-year extension of 30A tax credits for American Samoa’s canneries.
“The Senate bailout plan also covered financial institutions including but not limited to, any bank, savings association, credit union, security broker or dealer, or insurance company, established and regulated under the laws of the United States or any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa,” Faleomavaega said.
The plan also called for stronger oversight on the disbursement of the $700 billion proposed for the financial system. Rather than giving Treasury all the funds at once, the plan called for $250 billion to be made available immediately, and then required the President to certify an additional $100 billion, and the balance to be subject to Congressional approval. An Oversight Board is established to oversee the Treasury’s use of the fund, plus a special Inspector General to prevent against waste fraud and abuse.
“I am especially happy that the Senate amendment included our two-year extension of 30A tax credits or the economic development tax credit for businesses in American Samoa. And, as I have stated in the past, this tax credit is critical to our economy as a means of protecting the jobs of some 5,000 of our tuna cannery workers,” Faleomavaega said.
“At a time when our nation is facing uncertainty because of the financial crisis, it is important to maintain stability for our local economy, especially since American Samoa’s economy is more than 80% dependent, either directly or indirectly, on the US tuna fishing and processing industries.”
“I am hopeful that the House will soon take up the Economic Stabilization Acto before the closing of the 110th Congress, and I will continue to keep our people updated as this matter progresses,” Faleomavaega concluded.