During the March 18 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that "[n]ot one Republican voted for this bailout. Remember way back in the fall, not one Republican voted for the TARP [Troubled Asset Relief Program] bailout?" He later repeated the false claim, saying, "Not one Republican voted for it the first time around." In fact, many Republicans in both the House and Senate voted in favor of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which authorized the secretary of the Treasury to create the Troubled Asset Relief Program to provide financial aid to banks and other financial institutions. Indeed, on September 29, 2008, 65 House Republicans voted in favor of H.R. 3997, the original House vehicle for the act. After that legislation failed, on October 1, 2008, 34 Senate Republicans voted for H.R. 1424, the new vehicle for the act, and on October 3, 2008, 91 House Republicans voted for that bill. President Bush, a Republican, subsequently signed it into law.
Additionally, Limbaugh falsely claimed of American International Group's (AIG) employee retention bonuses that "[i]t's in the stimulus package that they get the bonuses." In fact, as Media Matters for America documented, the relevant provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act actually restricted the ability of companies receiving funds under the act to award bonuses in the future; it did not create a right for executives at AIG -- or anywhere else -- to receive bonuses.
From the March 18 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: It's in the stimulus package that they get the bonuses. That's what they're now going to go in and try to change. "AIG stands for Arrogance, Incompetence, and Greed" -- yeah, and you people bailed them out. And let's remember one thing, folks, while we go forward: Not one Republican voted for this bailout. Remember way back in the fall, not one Republican voted for the TARP bailout? And this was why.
And let's never forget what we were told back then: If we didn't do this, the country was finished. If we didn't pass this law and bail out these banks, it was over. We didn't have a day to make this decision. We didn't have a half-day. We didn't have 24 hours. Not one Republican voted for it the first time around. This is why.