Monday, September 30, 2013

House Rules Committee Addresses HJ Res 59 a Third Time

Earlier this evening the House Rules Committee approved H Res 367, the latest effort of the Republican leadership to craft an a version of HJ Res 59 that would be acceptable to the Republican’s conservative base and might pass muster this evening in the Senate.

House Rule

The latest move would vacate Saturday’s House amendments to the Senate amendment to HJ Res 59 and then put into place new language at the end of the Senate version that would:

• Changes end date to December 15th, 2013 {§138};
• Delays individual mandate requirements of Obamacare one year {§141}; and
• Removes the government contribution to the health insurance for Congress, its staff, the President and his staff and the political appointees in the executive branch {§142}.

It appears relatively obvious that the leadership accepts at face value Sen. Reids’ assertion that no modification of Obamacare will pass the Senate. Section 2 of H Res 367 provides that the currently approved waiver of House Rules with respect to the restrictions on the same day action on a House Rules Committee rule is extended to October 7th, 2013.

Floor Action

The House took up H Res 367 this evening and passed it on a nearly party-line vote (6 Republicans voted no) of 225 to 204. A short time later on a slightly more mixed vote (12 Republicans voted no and 9 Democrats voted yes) the House passed the newly revised language of HJ Res 59 on a 228 to 221 vote. The Senate subsequently voted to table consideration of the Republican amendment the expected party-line vote of 54-46, effectively dropping the matter back into the House.

It is remotely possible that the House might take the matter up again tonight; they recessed after the earlier vote instead of adjourning. In fact, the House Rules Committee just announced that it was holding another meeting tonight at 10:30 EDT.

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