The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to begin debating a bill that would keep a financial crisis-era deposit insurance program in place for two more years, but it will likely face strong opposition from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program insures bank deposits above $250,000, the amount the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp normally covers, in checking accounts that do not collect interest. It is due to expire at the end of the year.
Bank lobbyists have said that letting the program end could lead U.S. companies to pull funds from bank accounts and invest elsewhere, adding to economic uncertainty as the United States grapples with expiring tax cuts and cuts in government spending.
The Senate voted 76-20 to debate the bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that would give the program two more years.
"With concerns about the fiscal cliff in the U.S. and continued instability in European markets, I believe
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