GOP Forces Reconciliation Bill Back To The House For Another Vote
The New York Times reports: "With the Senate working through an all-night session on a package of changes to the Democrats' sweeping health care legislation, Republicans early Thursday morning identified parliamentary problems with at least two provisions that will require the measure to be sent back to the House for yet another vote, once the Senate adopts it. Senate Democrats had been hoping to defeat all of the amendments proposed by Republicans and to prevail on parliamentary challenges so that they could approve the measure and send it to President Obama for his signature. But the bill must comply with complex budget reconciliation rules, and Republicans identified some flaws" (Herszenhorn and Pear, 3/25).
Politico: "The reconciliation bill will have to go back to the House for another vote after Senate parliamentarian Alan Frumin ruled early this morning that two minor provisions violated the chamber's rules and could not be included in the final bill, according to Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman Jim Manley.
Both provisions made technical changes to the bill's Pell Grant regulations. All told, 16 lines of text will be removed from the 153-page bill, Manley told reporters as business on the Senate floor wrapped early Thursday morning" (Shiner and Frates, 3/25).
The Washington Post: "Senate leaders expect to push the amended bill to passage Thursday afternoon, with final passage to follow in the House before the weekend" (Montgomery, 3/25)
Roll Call: "Democrats remained confident they would pass the reconciliation bill - a companion bill to the health care measure Obama signed into law earlier this week. ... [A] GOP aide acknowledged the changes are largely inconsequential. ... Nevertheless, the Republican aide said the GOP sees the ruling as a win, noting that Democrats were forced into dozens of difficult votes on a host of political issues, including tax cuts, Medicare spending, federal funding for Viagra prescriptions for convicts and other amendments" (Stanton, 3/25).