Health Law Funding Again In Play As Congress Seeks Current-Year Spending Deal
With lawmakers trying to reach a compromise to avert a government shutdown and set the federal government's spending for the rest of the year, funding for the health law could face challenges in the House and the Senate.
Politico: Harry Reid's Math Problem
Never mind the House. The real obstacle to solving the standoff over funding for the health care law may be the Senate. As the talks begin on how to fund the government for the rest of the year, there's a very real math problem that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces. There won't be 60 votes to end a filibuster on any spending agreement that includes the House language to defund the health care law, because Senate Democrats would never go for it. But if it's all stripped out, he might not be able to get 60 votes either - because most or all of the Senate Republicans would vote against a bill that funds the law (Nather, 3/4).
National Journal: Health Care Law Defunding Efforts Push On
House Republicans weren't able to cut much mandatory funding under the health care reform law in their continuing resolution that funded the government for the rest of the fiscal year and slashed spending, but they are pushing forward on a new effort to cut billions of federal dollars out of automatic spending. Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts, R-Pa., told reporters on Thursday his panel would hold hearings over the next few weeks to examine proposals picking at the mandatory funds in the law. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said he would not attempt to amend H.R. 1, the 2011 spending bill passed in the House last month, to defund the health law further. But King promised to push somewhere else if the House is forced to work out another 2011 spending bill to compromise with the Senate: an estimated $105 billion in mandatory health care funds, as estimated by the Congressional Research Service (McCarthy, 3/4).
Star Tribune: Bachmann Accuses White House Of Hiding Billions In Health Bill
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann had a point to make Sunday morning, and no question was going to stop her. Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Bachmann bypassed host David Gregory's questions about a government shutdown and House Speaker John Boehner to attack the Obama administration with her claim that it hid $105 billion in "advance appropriations" in last year's health care bill. "I think this deception that the president and [former House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid put forward with appropriating over $105 billion needs to be given back to the people," the Minnesota Republican said, though it's debatable just how secret the money, appropriated by the last Congress, really was (Herb, 3/7).