Debt, Healthcare Among Most Searched Bills

During Election Week, voters looked for information on key issues.

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6. Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297)

Previous ranking: 5

Sponsor: Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act includes provisions to establish a $30 billion fund to increase loan availability to small businesses. The act also includes an initiative to help fund states' lending programs and several forms of tax relief for small businesses, such as increased deductions for business start-up costs. This bill passed the House in June and passed the Senate in amended form on September 16. On September 23, the House agreed to the Senate version, named the "Small Business Jobs Act of 2010," and President Obama signed it into law four days later. [Check out a roundup of editorial cartoons on the economy.]

7. America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200)

Previous ranking: 7

Sponsor: Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)

This is the original healthcare bill, which Rep. Dingell introduced in July 2009. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate around the same time, and both bills failed to pass. This bill included key features that were not in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform bill that was eventually signed into law (No. 2, above), most notably a government-run insurance option and the creation of an insurance exchange--a public marketplace in which insurers would sell their plans.

8. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173)

Previous ranking: 8

Sponsor: Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

Also known as the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act," or more commonly as the "financial regulatory reform bill," this legislation was signed by President Obama on July 21, six months after its initial introduction. This law is intended to address the causes of the 2008 economic crisis. To that end, the bill seeks to provide a way to liquidate failed firms and has also created a watchdog council at the Federal Reserve, the Financial Stability Oversight Council. This council is accepting public comments this week regarding how it should write the "Volcker Rule," which limits banks from making certain types of risky investments.

9. "To clarify the availability of existing funds for political status education in the Territory of Guam..." (H.R. 3940)

Not on list last week

Sponsor: Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)

This bill, introduced by Guam's delegate to the House of Representatives, would provide funding for the unincorporated U.S. territory to explore other political status options. Some Guam residents have applauded the bill as a step toward self-determination for the Pacific island. The bill also delays minimum wage increases from 2011 until 2012 in American Samoa, another unincorporated U.S. territory, and the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth associated with the United States. President Obama signed the bill into law on September 30.

10. "To provide for a 10 percent reduction in pay for Members of Congress..." (H.R. 6134)

Not on list last week

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)

Coffman says that this bill, which he introduced on September 15, would subject the federal government to the same budget-cutting realities currently faced by many states. The measure would reduce the salaries of members of Congress by 10 percent and also subject all federal civilian employees to a two-week non-consecutive furlough in 2011. Altogether, Coffman says, the bill would save taxpayers $5.5 billion dollars. The bill was referred to the House Committees on Administration, Oversight and Government Reform, and the Judiciary on the day it was introduced, where it has remained since that time.

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