Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Another Possible House Revision to HJ Res 59

Earlier this evening the House Rules Committee was scheduled to meet to discuss the rule for the consideration of another response to the Senate Amendment to HJ Res 59. The meeting was postponed at the last minute, subject to the recall of the Chair. According to the Rules Committee web page the new version (IV) of the proposed language to HJ Res 59:

“Extends the continuing resolution at sequester levels through December 15, 2013; extends the debt limit through February 7, 2014 and eliminates "extraordinary measures" [bookkeeping games currently being played to extend the current debt limit] through April 15, 2014; and ensures that members of Congress, the President, Vice-President, Members of the President's cabinet, political appointees within the Adiministration [sic], White House Staff, and congressional staff from Member's personal, committee, and leadership offices may only purchase their insurance from the Obamacare Exchanges without any subsidy.”

The now standard CFATS language of §122 has been modified to add a new paragraph (b): “This section shall take effect as though enacted on September 30, 2013.” Similar language was added for each section that similarly extended specific authorization for a variety of other programs that have also specifically missed their spending bill based program authorization. This is a heartening move for supporters of the CFATS program as it indicates a specific willingness to keep the program funded and moving forward.

There is currently no on-line indication of if/when the House Rules Committee will actually meet to consider the rule for bringing this measure to the House floor. Various news report (including) indicate that the current delay in the Rules Committee consideration is due to the lack of support for the measure from conservative Republicans, leaving the proposal without enough votes to pass in the House.

The Rules Committee could still meet early tomorrow to consider this proposed language or some alternative. It seems likely that the Senate will also resume discussions to develop a new alternative to the current language from either the House or Senate.

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