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House Republicans have now lost three straight attempts to pass bills in the past 24 hours.

As you've probably heard already, last night the Republican leadership was caught off guard when 26 of their rank-an-file members joined the Democrats to reject an attempt to extend the PATRIOT Act provisions under an expedited procedure, known as "suspension of the rules," that limits debate and does not allow amendments to be offered. Before that vote, the leadership was forced to pull another bill from the floor that would have provided job training to people who have lost their jobs due to trade issues when it became clear that they didn't have the votes to pass it under the same procedure they tried for the PATRIOT Act bill.

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As expected, the House of Representatives this afternoon passed their stand-alone unemployment insurance extension bill (H.R. 5816). The vote wasn't even close. 270 congressmen voted in favor of the bill, including 29 Republicans, and only 153 voted against it. But the Senate has adourned for the July 4 recess and the bill will have to wait until they come back in mide July to make its way through that chamber.

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How They Voted on Health Care Reform

March 22, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

As I reported last night, the House of Representative passed the final vote needed to send health care reform to President Obama to be signed into law. The bill was approved with a handful of votes to spare, even though no Republicans ended up voting in favor. Here's a more detailed look at how lawmakers of the House voted.

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Big Deal?

July 31, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The AP this morning is reporting that liberals, Blue Dogs and every Democrat in between on the E&C Committee have struck a deal on the health care bill. Essentially, the Blue Dogs get to keep the concession they won earlier in the week requiring the government to negotiate rates for their public insurance option directly with private companies. The main thing liberals and moderates in the Energy and Commerce Committee seem to have won today is an agreement to restore subsidies to low income households for buying health insurance. With this deal in place, the committee is expected to pass the bill later this afternoon.

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The Progressive Health Care Bloc

July 30, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The fact of the matter is that when you shift the legislation over to the right to satisfy conservatives, you lose liberal votes on the left. In this case, the deal Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30] Democrat brokered with the Blue Dogs appears to be losing more votes for the bill than it has gained. The deal is designed to satisfy the 40 Blue Dogs who outlined their concerns with the bill in a letter three weeks ago. We know that only 4 of the 7 Blue Dogs on the E&C Committee agreed to the deal, so it's likely that outside of the committee, the deal would win the support of, say, 30 Blue Dogs.

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Democrats Strike a Health Care Deal

July 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

As you've probably heard by now, the Blue Dog Democrats that have been delaying progress on the health care bill (H.R. 3200) for two weeks straight have finally struck a deal with the Democratic leadership and are allowing the bill to move forward. The bill has been blocked in the House Energy and Commerce Committee by seven Blue Dogs with a list of 10 objections, some of which go to the heart of the legislation's key proposals. Today's deal will allow the committee mark-up to go forward and the bill to pass out of committee.

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Quick Update on Health Care

July 22, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

On the House side, the bill continues to be hung up in the Energy and Commerce Committee over concerns from Blue Dogs. But House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] said today that, once the bill is on the floor, it will pass. “I have no question that we have the votes on the floor of the House to pass this legislation,” she said at a press conference. It should be noted, however, that not all House Democrats agree with her assessment. On the Senate side, a less optimistic statement from the M...

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Blue Dogs Threaten to Block the Healthcare Bill

July 16, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 is scheduled for three separate committee mark-ups today. In one of the committees a bloc of conservative Blue Dog Democrats is threatening to vote with Republicans to block the bill unless some major changes are made to the bill's principle provisions.

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Blue Dogs Don't Want a Public Option That Works

July 10, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

House Democrats' unveiling of their final version of health care legislation was scheduled for today. But a group of Blue Dog Democrats threw a wrench in the plans with a last-minute list of objections, including major concerns over the structuring of the central "public option."

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