The parity amendment, the Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act (S 543), was originally introduced by Sens. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) in March. In August it sailed through the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, chaired by parity supporter Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) (Psychiatric News, September 7, 2001). The Senate then unanimously passed the legislation as an amendment to the appropriations bill, which conferees began debating last month (Psychiatric News, November 16, 2001).