Pass the bailout bill — now. That was the message to Congress from Marriott International CFO Arne Sorenson, during a conference call with investors.
He said that if a comprehensive stabilization plan is not passed very soon, the resulting credit squeeze could threaten business in the hotel industry and other sectors, Reuters reported.
“There are thousands, maybe tens of thousands of jobs at stake in our company alone, and we are typical,” Sorenson reportedly stated on the conference call to discuss his company’s most recent quarterly results.
The Senate Wednesday evening passed a revised version of the bill by a 74-25 vote. However, most stock market indexes plunged again Thursday, partly on fear that the House of Representatives may not support the bill when it votes on Friday, and partly on reports that a number of pork-barrel projects were added to the bill, further eroding investors’ trust in Congress.
Forty Democrats and 34 Republicans voted for the bill, while 10 Democrats and 15 Republicans opposed it. Several Senators facing strong re-election challenges — such as Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) — voted for it. The only endangered Democratic incumbent, Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), voted against the bill. Most of the “nay” votes came from the more conservative and liberal wings.
According to the New York Post, the 451-page bill — approved by both John McCain and Barack Obama — contains more than $1.7 billion worth of targeted tax breaks.
That amount includes $6 million for manufacturers of kids’ wooden arrows, $192 million for Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum producers, and $128 million for auto-racing tracks.