President George W. Bush signed a historic economic rescue bill on Friday, which sets out to revive the U.S. financial system by allowing the federal government to buy up to $700 billion in failed mortgaged from banks and other financial institutions.
The president signed the bill shortly after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 263-171 today to pass the far-reaching legislation.
“This legislation is critical to stopping the economic turmoil that millions of Americans are facing,” NAR President Dick Gaylord said in a statement. “Today’s action will go a long way toward ending the current economic crisis crippling the housing and financial markets.”
The legislation will help restore liquidity to the mortgage market, which will stabilize the housing market and protect home owners, Gaylord said.
President George Bush, along with congressional members, had lobbied throughout the week for the support of spending billions of dollars to buy bad mortgage-related securities from troubled financial institutions, as a way to ease the credit crisis.
The bill was tossed a setback earlier in the week after the House voted it down, which sent stocks plunging 777 points, the biggest single-day drop in U.S. history.
The Senate revived the bill on Wednesday by making changes to the $700 billion measure, which was aimed at garnering more bipartisan support. The revised bill extended bank deposit insurance and expired tax breaks. The Senate passed its version of the bill in a 74-25 vote on Oct. 1. (see NAR Applauds Senate Stabilization Action).
Earlier in the week, NAR had called on its members to contact Congress to support the bill. NAR also teamed up with eight other business organizations to run an ad in major newspapers across the country that urged Congress to pass the recovery plan.
Source: REALTOR Magazine Online (10/3/08)