21 March 2010

Non-Vote Vote Rule Passed - House Voting on Senate Bill

The House has passed the rule allowing the 'deem and pass' measure to provide Democratic House members with cover from a recorded vote on the Senate HC bill, allowing it to move directly to a vote on a reconciliation package of 'fixes' to the Senate bill. These are required to deal strictly with budgetary matters, but of course one can word just about any measure in such a way as to make it about the budget. In the meanwhile, the president is expected to rapidly sign into law the Senate bill, and then to accept the reconciliation package later. Final votes were obtained after the president assured Rep. Stupak that he would issue a Presidential Executive order barring all federal funds from being used to obtain abortion.
'Just before taking the podium at a 4 p.m. news conference, the White House released the text of an executive order to be signed after the health care reform legislation is passed. It makes clear the president’s intention “to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that federal funds are not used for abortion services” and continues the current prohibition on taxpayer money being used for abortions known as the Hyde amendment.'
The Republicans believe that there are several rules violations in the reconciliation package that would violate House rules, including an appropriation to fund a new agency to implement the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," that does not fall under the auspices of the committees that wrote the Senate bill. It remains to be seen if these rules violations would amount to a negative ruling by the Senate Parlimentarian.
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