Economic Stimulus Bill details

You probably already noticed from the note at the top of the site, but just to archive it: here are some links related to the economic stimulus bill that was enacted this month (and then failed to do any good, apparently).

We posted a special feature line by line. You can see the evolution of the plan from September 25 to October 1.

, can be found on GovTrack. In an effort to speed the parliamentary process up, the Senate co-oped a previous unenacted bill, variously titled the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. They replaced the entire text of the bill with the stimulus bill using an amendment. Two votes took place in the Senate, first to and then to : the votes, both on Oct. 1, came out the same. Because the House had previously passed the bill in its prior life as a mental health bill, the House had, well, already passed the bill. But since the Senate had made changes following the House’s approval, the House was required to , which it did on Oct. 3. The same day the President signed the bill and it became law.

Prior to the Senate’s action, the House attempted a bill of its own. Actually, it attempted to co-opt a bill as well in order to speed-up the parliamentary process. It wanted to co-opt , Defenders of Freedom Tax Relief Act of 2007. The House

to replace the text of that bill with their stimulus bill, but the vote failed, leaving the bill unchanged.

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21 Comments

  1. I recieved a letter from First Ohio Banc and Lending, Inc stating that my current mortgage loan may be eligible for a special modification program created in conjuction with the Federal Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. Is this legitamate? Is this a refinace offer?

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  2. What do you mean this is no place for that question, if they srnt these letters they sould tell us, i got the same one it is form# 008.S are these real or a scam?

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  3. I also recieved this same form in the mail. They want $2,500 up front. Sure makes me wonder why they would ask for so much from a person that was in financial hardship to begin with. I’m
    doing some research and will let you know ASAP. Hang tough everyone and good luck saving your homes. Something has to
    change and SOON!!

    In your shoes

    Leslie

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  4. I RECEIVED THIS SAME LETTER “FORM 008”, WHAT IS THIS?? IS SOMEONE TRYING TO SCAM MORE HOMEOWNERS IN TROUBLE??

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  5. I also recieved that 008-s form I called that number they said I qualifid for payment reduction but they want $2,500 so that made me wonder that is a scam for money.Now i’m doing resreach on it.

    Isrrael Medina

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  6. The more appropriate response to Cindy, Rich and Leslie would have been that:
    1) A stimulus package from the government would generally give you a check -not ask you for money.
    2) Any scheme that asks you for money to refinance your mortgage is a scam, and I would stay away from it.
    3) Go to your mortgage company to refinance a mortgage and get some competitive rates from other mortgage companies.
    4)Do your own research.

    Teriss

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  7. Josh – thanks for trying to keep these posts on point. It is interesting that the House and Senate use previously passed bills as the legislative foundation run thru new emergency bills – apparently simply ammending the entire bill’s text. Is this work-around used to avoid otherwise arduous legislative processes that make it impossible to enact ermergency legislation at necessary speed? Thanks if you can comment.

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  8. I don’t really know what the alternatives are. Co-opting a bill as they did avoids the committee system (since it had already gone through committee), for instance. Are there other ways to avoid committee referral? How fast can a committee process a bill, or does that give up too much power to the committee chair? I don’t know the answers to those questions.

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  9. If you would send me a scan of the form, or mail me a hard copy (I’ll give an address by email), I would like to see what is going on. I haven’t see anything, but someone else also told me something similar.

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  10. I got the same letter and I’m going to rip it up right now! I thought it was from the gov. Thanks for saving me time bacuase I’m not giving anyone 2,500. Too bad there’s so many crooks out htere!!!

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  11. Consumer Reports Magazine has an article this month about this exact scam. The Company takes your money, promising to contact your mortage holder and renegotiate your terms, or whatever, and they tell you they’ll take care of everything. And guess what? They don’t.

    Bottom line: DO NOT GIVE ANYONE MONEY BEFORE THEY PROVIDE A SERVICE FOR YOU. (Sorry for the all caps, I know it’s extreme.) If it seems fishy, it probably is.

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  12. Consumer Reports Magazine has an article this month about this exact scam. The Company takes your money, promising to contact your mortage holder and renegotiate your terms, or whatever, and they tell you they’ll take care of everything. And guess what? They don’t. If it seems fishy, it probably is.

    Bottom line: DO NOT GIVE ANYONE MONEY BEFORE THEY PROVIDE A SERVICE FOR YOU. (Sorry for the all caps, I know it’s extreme.)

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  13. I’ve never used this site before, but it looks like there is a security problem with the information we are required to submit in order to participate. If this makes it onto the site, I would like to ask for some clarification. The way the paragraph about HR1424, the final economic stimulus bill reads gives the impression that the stimulus package has been voted on and had enough votes to become law. That seems to contradict what I am reading and hearing elsewhere. Secondly, I am confused. Is the “stimulus package” just a bunch of single bills that are being passed one by one or is it a bundle of bills? Is there any place we can see the text of the “stimulus bill” or the “stimulus bills” in their entirety. Lastly, speaking as a novice, it would be very helpful for me to have the sections highlighted that have changed from one draft to the next. I want to know what is going on but I can’t read through every word of every bill trying to decipher what has changed. With much gratitude for your work and support – Suze

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  14. Suze-

    > I’ve never used this site before

    Welcome!

    > but it looks like there is a security problem with the information we are required to submit in order to participate.

    On the site generally, nothing is required. I’ve noticed that in submitting comments on this blog people have misunderstood the “Mail Address” field as referring to a postal address, when instead it was meant to refer to an email address. (I didn’t design that.) I’ve updated that so it is clearer.

    > The way the paragraph about HR1424, the final economic stimulus bill reads gives the impression that the stimulus package has been voted on and had enough votes to become law. That seems to contradict what I am reading and hearing elsewhere.

    This post referred to the legislation that was going around last October which approved the initial $700 billion stimulus. The current bill is H.R. 1 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1), which has been passed by the House and is in consideration in the Senate.

    > Secondly, I am confused. Is the “stimulus package” just a bunch of single bills that are being passed one by one or is it a bundle of bills?

    My understanding is that it is a single bill, H.R. 1, with a lot of sections.

    > Is there any place we can see the text of the “stimulus bill” or the “stimulus bills” in their entirety.

    See the link above.

    > Lastly, speaking as a novice, it would be very helpful for me to have the sections highlighted that have changed from one draft to the next.

    Indeed, we’ve spent a lot of effort trying to make that possible. Here’s a link to a page showing just what changed from when the bill was originally introduced to when it was passed by the House:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-1&version=rds&compareto=ih&view=side

    More fine-grained comparisons are not possible because Congress does not publish the necessary information in a useful way.

    Best,

    Josh (GovTrack)

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  15. Will any of us EVER know or understand what this stimulus bill contains and if it will actually benefit anyone except business organizations or companies?

    Why can’t any of or representatives give us some straight answers?

    Thank you

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  16. My advice to you people receiving form 008-S, is to not even respond to the mail. This is a scam. They’re not suppose to be informing you to call them in regards to your debt. In fact, no company is suppose to. Be cautious because there are definitely crooks out there looking for an opportunity to destroy your lives.

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  17. I’ve also received a 008-S Form and I called to inquire about the opportunity. The guy who answered my call was named Robert Watson. He occasionally made jokes with me which made me a little cautious whether if it was a scam or not. He asked me information about my mortgage company, loan amount, monthly rates and insurance, and financial hardships. He told me right on the spot that I was qualified. BUT, he told me that the charges were $2,500 but he’ll only charge me $2,000 and I could pay off by payments of $1,000 each. He told me we could get it started today and asked me “how soon will you be able to send in a thousand dollars to us?” As soon as he asked me that question, I quickly replied that I am already in this situation, what makes you think that I will be able to send in a thousand dollars to you upfront? He then said he would ask his manager and call me back immediately because i definitely qualified for the loan modification (also listed as Payment Reduction.) Meanwhile, I went online and searched scam artists and I actually came across a lot of the same scams with the listing 008-S form saying Loan Modification. He eventually called me back with a number “108” and I didn’t pick up. He called me three times and left a voicemail with a completely different number to call back. I am so glad I did research on this before I went further into this evil scam.

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  18. This is still going on. I got the letter, from first Ohio lending- firstohlending.com. It’s clearly a scam, how can they offer a rate so much lower than any lender I’ve ever talked to– Even my mortgage buddies. It’s sad that these companies still exist, stop sending them money!

    “I don’t know the answer to those questions”

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