…please read Ace’s post on the subject. The gist, for people who won’t click through, is this: all financial bills originate in the House. Article I, Section VII of the Constitution: “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” What happened here is that the Senate took a bill that had already passed in the House, slapped on an amendment that incorporated the bailout language, then passed that. Now it goes back to the House for reconciliation – which is what happens when bills between the two parts of Congress don’t match. That gives the House another bite at the apple.
Gaming the system? Yup. Just like everything else in this mess.