Yearly Archives: 2008

  • CHN: Major Victory on Mental Health

    The House and Senate managed to reach an agreement on a mental health parity bill and to see it become law before adjourning. The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, H.R. 6983, was signed into law on October 3 as part of the $700 billion bailout package. The passage Read More »

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  • CHN: Child Tax Credit Improvement Enacted in Financial Rescue Bill

    On October 3, its final day in session, Congress passed and the President signed into law a major improvement in the Child Tax Credit that will help 13 million low-income children. The provision makes families with earnings of $8,500 or more eligible for a partial Child Tax Credit although they don’t earn enough to owe Read More »

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  • CHN: Premium Assistance for Low-Income Seniors Awaits President’s Signature

    Legislation to assist low-income seniors with their Medicare Part B premiums made its way quietly to the President’s desk this fall. S. 3560, introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and ranking member Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), would increase funding for Medicare’s Qualifying Individuals (QI) program by $45 million. QI provides payment of Read More »

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  • CHN: Humanitarian Immigrants to Receive Extension of SSI Benefits

    On September 30, President Bush penned into law a long-awaited extension of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for refugees and other immigrants here on humanitarian grounds. The bill (H.R. 2608), which originated in the House, passed that chamber in July 2007. However, it was not until August of this year, with some slight modifications, that Read More »

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  • CHN: Domestic Spending Extended for Six Months; Almost All Flat-Funded

    With 24 hours to spare, President Bush signed a continuing resolution extending most domestic spending through March 6, 2009. Unable to agree upon most of the separate appropriations bills, Congress instead passed temporary legislation with almost all spending frozen at this year’s levels. Human needs advocates had worked hard to secure increased funding for a Read More »

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  • CHN: Senate Fails to Move Tax Legislation

    Action to improve the Child Tax Credit stalled in the Senate last week. With votes following party lines 53-43 and 51-43, two motions to move a broader tax cut bill including the Child Tax Credit closer to a final vote failed to garner the necessary 60 votes. Democrats supported the motions, while most Republicans opposed Read More »

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  • CHN: President Signs Major Housing Legislation

    After months of back and forth between the House, Senate and White House, on July 30 the President signed into law the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, H.R. 3221.  The bill passed the House on July 23 with bi-partisan support 272-152, and it cleared the Senate on July 26 by a vote of Read More »

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  • CHN: SSI Extension for Refugees and Asylees in Sight

    On August 1, after months of delays and to advocates’ great relief the Senate passed H.R. 2608, a bill that extends Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for two years for qualified refugees and asylum seekers. The Senate passed the bill unanimously by voice vote before adjourning for its August recess. H.R. 2608 had been stalled Read More »

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  • CHN: Action to Spur the Economy Awaits Congress’ Return in September Not to Mention Funding for Everything Else

    Congress will have a lot on its plate during its three weeks in session in September.  As unemployment rises and other economic warning signs accumulate, pressure is building in both the House and Senate to enact an economic recovery bill with funding to create jobs and to alleviate hardship from natural disasters, price spikes in Read More »

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