Congresspedia Review: This Week in Congress (Sept. 27 - Oct. 4, 2008)
By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas
Following the Senate’s vote to approve a financial recovery package earlier this week, the House held an historic second vote on the measure Friday. To sweeten the deal for Senators and Representatives, the $700 billion bailout was packaged with other measures, including a series of popular tax credits and rebates that had recently expired.
Aside from the tax extenders package, the bill also has a number of earmarks targeted at lawmakers who voted against the original bailout legislation. Our friend Donny Shaw at OpenCongress.org has more information on those lawmakers and earmarks.
Another provision upped the amount for accounts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to $250,000. The increase is only temporary, and will revert to the traditional $100,000 limit on January 1, 2010.
The bill also contained a mental health parity provision, designed to prevent insurers from charging more for mental-health benefits than they do for traditional insurance. The Senate easily approved the bailout package on Wednesday by a 74-21 margin. Both Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) voted “aye” on the measure.