WASHINGTON - The House yesterday voted 260-166 to pass legislation that would establish new conditions for the disbursement of the second $350 billion portion of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, including a provision clarifying that the Treasury Department has the authority to help the municipal bond market.

The bill also includes a provision to require the federal government to guarantee leaseback deals that transit agencies entered into with private investors and that technically defaulted when the credit ratings of their guarantors were downgraded below triple-A. Transit agencies are facing billions of dollars in termination payments in these deals, but such a relief provision has been opposed by leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax issues.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.