The House as early as Tuesday afternoon will try to speed passage of a bill that would create a database for the Treasury Department to provide live updates on the distribution of bailout funds, according to aides to the Democratic leadership.
The bipartisan bill, H.R. 1242, would amend last year's bailout law -- the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act -- to continuously inform lawmakers and federal auditors about spending in the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Updates would be fed to the TARP inspector and Congress from a database containing company news releases, financial reports, and other public and private sources of information.
The House was scheduled to vote on the bill at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, under suspension of the rules, an expedited procedure used for noncontroversial measures that requires a two-thirds vote for passage. But lawmakers on Monday canceled the vote after the Congressional Budget Office determined the database would cost a small sum to develop - disqualifying it from a suspension vote, House aides said.
While CBO has not given House leaders the precise cost, the dollar figure is small and lawmakers plan to identify an offset when they are apprised of the exact sum, aides added.
A spokesman for House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., on Monday night said bill sponsor Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and committee staff were working on the bill's language.
Maloney introduced the bill in March and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced a similar bill, S. 910, in April.
Data analytics providers, including Teradata Corp., SAS and Dow Jones & Co., testified in September in support of the bill before a House Financial Services subcommittee. But some open government advocates are urging lawmakers to strengthen the measure by expressly stipulating that the database be made public on the Web.