OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

A Breakthrough? UPDATE: Nope.

July 24, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

I was just going to post on this piece from The Hill about how Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30] is preparing to skip his committee's faltering markup of the health care bill and bring the bill straight to a vote by the full House. But, now in my RSS reader, I'm seeing this piece from CQ - "House Leaders Say They’ve Met Concerns of Dissident Democrats":

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Submit Your Health Care Bill Comments

July 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Now that the leadership in both the Senate and the House are pushing back their time lines until September for voting on health care, the period for public comment and review of the legislation on OpenCongres is extended too. Here are some of the public comments on the bill so far rated most useful by OpenCongress users. If you haven't done so yet, please add your own comments.

Read Full Article Comments (43)
 

The Health Care Bill

July 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

I was just looking through our Google Analytics account and noticed that a significant amount of people searching for "health care bill" are finding the wrong bill page on OpenCongress. For the record, the health care bill that the House is currently working on - the one with the public option, the surcharge on the rich, etc - is this one: H.R. 3200 - America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009: To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health ca...

Read Full Article Comments (20)
 

More Delay

July 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Hill: The House Energy and Commerce Committee canceled its healthcare markup session again Thursday, further dimming hopes that the House can complete its work before the August recess is scheduled to begin. The committee began its drafting sessions on Friday and Monday. But they were canceled in the following days as Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) negotiated with Blue Dog Democrats, who've complained the bill doesn't cut enough costs and puts too great a burden on employers. House...

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

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...

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

House Approves "Pay-As-You-Go" Budgeting Rules

July 22, 2009 - by Isabelle Cutting

The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009 passed after consideration in the House this afternoon by a vote of 265-166. The bill seeks to establish exactly what it defines in its title as a form of budget enforcement - that Congress can only spend money if it saves at least the same amount elsewhere.

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Summer of Health Care

July 22, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Sounds like Speaker Pelosi might cancel the August recess, which is scheduled to begin on the 3rd, if Blue Dogs continue to delay moving the health care bill through the Energy and Commerce Committee and onto the House floor for a vote. The Hill: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday said she's open to keeping the House in session through the August recess to pass its healthcare overhaul. "I think 70 percent of the American people would want that," Pelosi said. "I want a bill."...

Read Full Article Comments (2)
 

For the first time this session, Senate Democrats have successfully filibustered a Republican amendment to loosen federal gun laws. The Senate today voted 58-39 on Sen. John Thune's [R, SD] amendment to allow people who are legally allowed to carry concealed weapons in their home state to carry their weapons in any of the 48 states that have some form of concealed carry law. SIxty votes were needed for the amendment to pass.

Read Full Article Comments (16)
 

Congress Links

July 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Blue Dogs hold a "constructive" meeting with Obama about health care legislation. A crucial House Committee cancels their health care markup for the second day in a row. Republicans look to delay health care reform however they can. And Sotomayor's Judiciary vote is scheduled for next week, and it looks like it will be an easy one. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Obama Wins Big Senate Vote to Stop Funding F-22s

July 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Last week, President Obama threatened to veto the FY10 Department of Defense Authorization bill if Congress insisted on including $1.75 billion for the Air Force to buy more F-22s fighter jets. Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates argued that the additional jets were not needed and that to buy more of them would be to "waste valuable resources that should be more usefully employed to provide our troops with the weapons that they actually do need." But the jets' manufacturer, Lockheed Ma...

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

The Treasury Department has been selling taxpayers' bank warrants back to bailed out banks at a secretly-negotiated discount rate. The newly introduced PROFIT Act of 2009 would require the Treasury to sell the warrant in an open auction so that the public gets a fair return on the money they put up to rescue the banks.

Read Full Article Comments (2)
 

Of the five Committees in Congress with jurisdiction over health care reform legislation right now, only one, the Senate Finance Committee, is proposing the scrap the Obama-supported "public option" entirely. That committee is chaired by Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT], the man at the center of this piece from Dan Eggen on the health industry's effort to quash reform through campaign contributions:

Read Full Article Comments (4)
 

Senate Republicans have had success this session winning substantial Democratic support for their pro-gun amendments. This week they'll try again, this time on an amendment to let people allowed to carry concealed weapons in their home states to carry them in any other state that allows concealed carry.

Read Full Article Comments (7)
 

Congress Links

July 20, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

It's crunch time for health care reform. Blue Dogs and other Democrats are defecting. The House's surtax on the rich to pay for the bill is under heavy scrutiny. A Senate compromise with a weaker public option is starting to shape up. And President Obama is getting ready to play hardball. That and much more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Republicans for Single Payer

July 17, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

...Well, at least for a state's right to create a single payer health care system if the so choose. During the House Education & Labor Committee's mark-up of the health care bill (H.R. 3200) today, Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10] proposed and passed an amendment that would remove legal barriers barring a state from creating a Medicare-like single-payer health care system to guarantee insurance for all of their citizens. The amendment was opposed by the committee's Democratic chairman, Rep....

Read Full Article Comments (2)