Congress Approves Current-Year Spending Plan, Votes On Defunding Health Law As Part Of Agreement
Separate measures to defund the health law and Planned Parenthood, which were voted on as part of the compromise that enabled the broader spending bill to move to a vote in both chambers, were approved in the House but defeated in the Senate.
The New York Times: Congress Passes Budget Bill, But Some In GOP Balk
Congress voted Thursday to keep the government financed through September, putting an end to a raucous first skirmish in this year's showdown between Democrats and Republicans over federal spending while presaging bigger ones to come. Thursday's vote was the precursor to an expected vote on Friday in the House on a budget blueprint for the next fiscal year that will call for a sea change in the structures of the giant Medicare and Medicaid entitlement programs, a measure almost certainly dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate (Steinhauer, 4/14).
Los Angeles Times: Congress Passes $38 Billion In Budget Cuts
Immediately after voting Thursday, House members launched into a debate over their 2012 spending plan, with the cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other domestic programs. Another crucial financial decision also awaits on an increase in the nation's $14.3-trillion debt ceiling. Republican leaders expect to extract deep deficit reductions in exchange for their votes to lift the debt limit. GOP leaders appear to have convinced the rank-and-file that these next battles present an even better opportunity to take on rising deficits (Mascaro and Hennessey, 4/14).
The Washington Post: Budget Deal: CBO Analysis Shows Initial Spending Cuts Less Than Expected
The findings from the budget office warned that the deal may never come close to delivering on its promises. The analysts found that $13 billion to $18?billion of the cuts involve money that existed only on paper and was unlikely to be tapped in the next decade (Fahrenthold, 4/14).
The Hill: Defunding Health Care, Planned Parenthood Passes House, Fails Senate
The House on Thursday afternoon approved two resolutions that would amend the FY 2011 spending bill to block funding designated for Planned Parenthood and last year's health care law. But House passage is largely symbolic, as the Senate did not pass either of the bills. Votes in both the House and the Senate were a condition that Republicans insisted on as part of last week's agreement on funding for the rest of the fiscal year. The House approved the Planned Parenthood amendment, H.Con.Res. 36, by a 241-185 vote. ... The House approved the bill to defund the health care law. ... The Senate defeated the same measure 47 to 53 (Kasperowicz, 4/14).
Los Angeles Times: Senate Rejects Attempts To Defund Planned Parenthood, Health Reform
The Senate has rejected a bill that would have blocked funding for implementation of President Obama's new health care law. The Senate agreed to hold the vote as part of the compromise spending deal negotiated last week. Although it had little chance of passing, Republicans insisted on the vote in order to put Democrats on record as defending the law which has limited public support. The vote will likely be used as a political weapon in the 2012 campaigns. No Democrats voted for the measure. Also as part of the budget agreement the Senate took up a bill blocking federal money from flowing to Planned Parenthood. That measure also failed, though this time five Republicans also voted with Democrats in opposition (Hennessey, 4/14).
The Associated Press: Moderate Dems Stand With Obama On Health Care
Tough re-election campaigns looming, a handful of moderate Senate Democrats voted on Thursday to keep the money flowing to President Barack Obama's health care law despite increasing public opposition to the year-old overhaul. The deal on the spending bill struck by Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., required a separate vote on cutting off money for the year-old health care overhaul. The effort failed, 53-47, falling 13 votes short of the 60 votes needed for passage, but it put lawmakers on record an outcome relished by Republicans looking ahead to 2012 (4/14).
Bloomberg: U.S. Senate Kills House Bills Targeting Health Law, Planned Parenthood
The Democratic-run U.S. Senate defeated measures approved by the Republican-run House to bar spending government funds for the health care overhaul law and Planned Parenthood. The House voted 241-185 to stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides contraception and abortion services. The legislation was voted down in the Senate, 42-58, with five Republicans joining the 53 members of the chamber's Democratic caucus to oppose it. The House vote to deny funding for the health care law that President Barack Obama pushed through Congress last year was 240-185. The Senate rejected the measure 53-47 on a straight party-line vote (Rawley, 4/14).
CBS: Obama: GOP Tried To 'Sneak' Agenda Into Budget
CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller listened in to an audio feed of Mr. Obama's conversation with donors after other reporters traveling with the president had left the room. In the candid remarks, Mr. Obama complains of Republican attempts to attach measures to the budget bill which would have effectively killed parts of his hard-won health care reform program. ... Mr. Obama said he told House Speaker John Boehner and members of his staff that he'd spent a year and a half getting the sweeping health care legislation passed paying "significant political costs" along the way and wouldn't let them undo it in a six-month spending bill. Speaking into a microphone which he may not even have realized was still relaying his conversation to a distant press room where Knoller remained the sole reporter after the planned opening remarks concluded Mr. Obama bemoaned GOP leaders' attempts to attach a measure to the budget bill which would have cut funding for Planned Parenthood (Reals, 4/15).