Sunday, September 29, 2013

House Passes Both Amendments to HJ Res 59 and HR 3210

Late Saturday night the House passed both amendments to HJ Res 59, dumping the ball back in the Senate’s court. Amendment #1 which did not include the Obamacare language passed by a slightly bipartisan vote of 248 to 174 with 17 Democrats voting with all of the Republicans on the amendment. Amendment #2, which was identical to the first amendment with an additional section postponing the Obamacare implementation one year, lost two Republican and 15 Democrat votes to pass by a vote of 231 to 192.

It is still not clear how the slightly contradictory versions of language for HJ Res 59 would actually operate. Both bills specifically replaced the Senate language in the bill. The second amendment did not modify the bill as revised by the first amendment. I suspect, however, that is what the parliamentarians will decide happened in effect, so it will look as if the first amendment never actually took place.

The interesting part of the vote is that the 17 Democrats that joined the Republican majority on Amendment #1 could be enough votes to offset a conservative vote against a Senate bill that removed just the Obamacare delay. . It depends on just how many Republicans that would put their political principals above shutting down the government.

HR 3210, the military pay bill that I described late last night, passed by a unanimous vote. It should also be able to pass in the Senate on Monday, so at least the military folks would have some guarantee that there pay would continue even if the House and Senate can’t get together on a funding bill by Monday midnight.

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