Rumors about what could happen with the health care bill next week are spreading across Capitol Hill. I thought I would pass on those I am reasonably sure are accurate.
We KNOW two pieces of legislation will need to pass the House. The Speaker will need to find votes for the bill that passed the Senate last Christmas Eve (the Senate bill). The Majority is also putting together a second bill, the reconciliation bill, which makes "fixes" to the Senate bill to make it palatable to House Democrats.
We HEAR the Democrat leadership team could make this reconciliation bill available publicly over the weekend. Some Members have indicated that this bill will be publicly available for a week before it comes up for a vote.
We KNOW the Majority had hoped to pass the Senate bill and the reconciliation bill under what is called a "self-executing rule." In this scenario, the House would first vote for a rule that says any vote to pass the reconciliation bill is essentially a two-fer which would also constitute a vote on the Senate bill. The Speaker then planned to hold the Senate bill until the Senate passed the reconciliation bill, thus guaranteeing the Senate would act on House priorities before the President could sign anything into law. The Senate Parliamentarian popped this balloon yesterday by instructing the Leadership that the President must first sign the Senate bill before the Senate could act on the reconciliation bill.
We HEAR the Parliamentarian's decision has made things difficult for the Speaker. It is one thing for the Speaker to ask Members to trust her; it is entirely different to ask them to trust the Senate. As one colleague said, "The Republicans are the opposition, but the Senate is the enemy."
We KNOW the White House had initially set next Thursday as the deadline for House action on the bill- the date the President was scheduled to depart for Asia. The deadline has been pushed back, as has the President's trip.
We HEAR we can expect a vote next week or possibly next weekend. This will make the week to come very interesting and very important.
As always, I will keep you updated as events develop.
Marsha Blackburn, TN-7
Friday, March 12, 2010
The following is from Marsha Blackburn, TN-7, on what Mrs. Pelosi plans for passing the government's seizure of health care...