The president is expected to sign the parity bill (which is included in the $700 billion financial stabilization package) into law as early as this weekend.
For more information about the content of the bill, click here.
Congratulations to everyone who has advocated for this important legislation over the last 10+ years.
Special thanks as well go to Rep. Ramstad (R-Minn.), Rep. Kennedy (D-R.I.), Sen. Domenici (R-N.M.), and Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.). Parity's passage would have been impossible without the support of dozens of other congressional leaders, notably Sen. Enzi (R-Wy.), Sen. Dodd (D-Conn.), Speaker Pelosi (D-Ca.), and Majority Leader Hoyer (D-Md.).
What a great victory for the addiction and mental health treatment and recovery community!
[Note: This was my post from earlier today, but I want to make sure that "PARITY PASSES" is the lead headline!]
The House will vote on the Senate's financial stabilization package + tax cuts + parity today. Floor debate has already begun. The conventional wisdom is that this bill will pass and the President will likely sign it in very short order, perhaps this weekend, to reassure the markets.
The House leadership has said that they wouldn't bring the bill to the floor if they weren't confident that they had enough votes to pass it. Some of the extra targeted tax breaks that have been included in the bill have gotten bad press over the last few days, but the stock market's continued decline has convinced some lawmakers who voted "no" the first time to change their position. The question remains how many representatives (particularly the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats) who voted "yes" the first time will vote "no" now, with the extra spending measures that the Senate version includes.
Rep. Jim Ramstad, original sponsor of the parity legislation, has also said that he will switch his vote from "no" to "yes."
See the previous post ("The Future of the US Economy Rides on Parity") for more background on the bill and the current situation.