OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Sen. Jim Bunning's [R, KY] one-man filibuster came to an end last night allowing the Senate to pass an emergency extension for unemployment benefits (H.R.4691).

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Congress Links

March 2, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The saga of Jim Bunning [R, KY] may be dominating the headlines but Democrats are also starting to move forward on health care. To get a better idea of what's happening in the nation's capitol, here's a roundup of a few notable blog posts and articles from today:

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Bunning's Blockade Affects More People

March 2, 2010 - by Eric Naing

We've discussed how Sen. Jim Bunning's [R, KY] filibuster of unemployment benefits has affected millions of dollars in construction projects and thousands of workers, but there's another consequence of his obstruction: a 21 percent cut in Medicare dollars for doctors. I've discussed the “doc fix” before but to recap, a budget formula has repeatedly and automatically cut Medicaid payments to doctors since 2003. Congress routinely votes to delay those cuts, but by not paying to permanently fix t...

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Moving Forward

March 2, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The negotiating appears to be over, dozens of Republican ideas have been included in the health care bill, and the areas where Democrats and Republicans differ have been clearly identified. As Greg Sargent put it, in his letter today to the congressional leaders, Obama's message to the GOP is, "I'm thinkin' of ya, but we're moving forward."

Read Full Article Comments (3)
 

More On The Health Care Timeline

March 2, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Voting on health care before the Easter recess has two benefits. First, there's the hope that some Republicans may give up on obstructing the bill – possibly by offering hundreds of politically tricky amendments – so as to not cut into their break. And should health care pass, Democrats could go home to their districts with a major legislative victory under their belts.

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Bunning's Blockade Affects People

March 2, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

McClaychy outlines some of the real-world impact of Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY] continuing objections to a temporary extension of unemployment benefits and other expiring programs (H.R. 4691): Federal projects shut down include more than $38 million in project funding for Idaho's Nez Perce National Forest and Fernan Lakes Idaho Panhandle National Forest and $86 million for bridge replacements in the Washington, D.C., area. Bunning's home state of Kentucky has no projects affected by his action. ...

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

The Pitfalls of Budget Reconciliation

March 2, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

It's looking likely that, if health care reform is going to get finished, a package of compromises between the Senate and House bill is going to have to be passed first using the budget reconciliation process. But that leaves the bill vulnerable to the Byrd Rule, which will allow Republicans to object to individual sections of the bill and try to remove them.

Read Full Article Comments (3)
 

Timeline Time

March 2, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Via Political Wire, via Ben Smith: Step one: The House passes the Senate's health reform bill by March 19. The bill then goes to the president for signature without going through conference....After the Senate bill becomes law, the House then amends the Senate bill through a reconciliation bill, to be passed by March 21. That bill would be the only opportunity to amend, add or strike provisions in the Senate bill. Step three: The Senate begins debate on the reconciliation bill by March 23. Deb...

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

According to the office or Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [D, DC-0], today marks the end of a 30-day period in which Congress could act to prevent same-sex marriage from being legal in the nation's capitol.

Read Full Article Comments (2)
 

The 6 Parts of the Byrd Rule

March 1, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The Byrd Rule, which governs which legislative provisions are eligible for passage using the budget reconciliation process, has six parts. Provisions are not eligible if they fall under one or more of the parts of the rule. According to the Congressional Research Service, a provision can be ruled ineligible for budget reconciliation under the Byrd Rule if -- (1) it does not produce a change in outlays or revenues; (2) it produces an outlay increase or revenue decrease when the instructed...

Read Full Article Comments (4)
 

Congress Links

March 1, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Reporters misreport Sen. Conrad's statements on budget reconciliation. Republicans are still filibuster ...a lot. The public option is still gaining support in the Senate for inclusion in the final health care bill. And Speaker Pelosi works to whip votes. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

The Republicans have opened fire on using the budget reconciliation process but a former Congressional official who knows reconciliation well says it's neither.

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

While health care reform moves to the back rooms for now, Congress is hoping to take floor action on a number of jobs-related bills this week including a temporary extension for unemployment benefits (H.R.4691) that was single-handedly blocked by Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY].

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Bills on the Floor this Week

March 1, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Another big week is about to begin. But most of the action won't be on health care, it will be on legislation designed to create jobs and extend unemployment benefits. Here's a look at what bills are scheduled to come to the floor this week in the Senate and the House:

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Coming off a much-hyped health care summit, the Democratic plan for passing health care reform legislation is slowly coming into focus: first have the House pass the Senate bill (H.R.3590) then change it through reconciliation.

Read Full Article Submit a Comment