Health Care

Republican Reaction to House Budget Committee Reconciliation Process

Published March 16, 2010, 10:59 am, CST

by Diane W. Collins


Today on the House floor Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) gave his opinion of the health care reform legislation and the convoluted procedure Democrats are employing to pass their version of reform through the reconciliation process.


Remember, the House was "conferencing" the Senate bill prior to the election of Sen. Scott Brown, (R-MA) which changed the voting balance in the Senate and removed the Democrats ability to block a filibuster. The Democrats then turned to the use of a budget measure called "reconciliation" to avoid starting over. But, reconciliation has limitations as to what may be considered... federal funding of abortion does not fall under reconciliation.


So, the House has had to come up with a new bill, "the President's bill of fixes." However, only portions of what the Democrats want changed about the Senate bill pertain to the budget. Therefore, only certain portions of the "fix-it-bill" legally can be considered part of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 transferred out of the House Budget Committee yesterday. The House Rules Committee is meeting Wednesday, March 17th at 3:15 pm, EST to determine what will be in the bill and how voting will proceed on the House floor. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Rep. Paul Ryan(R-WI) have strongly voiced their objections. Rep. Cantor has pushed for an answer as to whether or not anyone will actually see what's in the "fix-it-bill" before the vote is called.


The Senate parliamentarian has stated the House must first pass and the President must sign the Senate health care Reform bill before the Senate can consider any reconciliation measure. However, the Senate parliamentarian can be overruled by the President of the Senate, VP Joe Biden. To circumvent all of this Speaker Pelosi and House Rules Committee Chairwoman, Louise Slaughter, (D-NY) have come up with the Slaughter Solution which "deems" the Senate bill passed simultaneously with any "bill of fixes" the House passes.


That doesn't mean passing the bill in the Senate is guaranteed. So, if the Senate doesn't pass reconciliation America will be under the original Senate bill "deemed" into law. Watch the video. We'll be adding more as the day goes on.


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