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Since the politics of the self-executing rule (a.k.a. the "deem and pass" strategy, or the "Slaughter solution") are blowing up right now -- discussion of the rule currently dominates the top half of Memerorandum -- I thought I should bring back this historcial information from a post I wrote when the idea of using the rule for health care was first reported.

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Let the endgames begin! The pieces of the process puzzle for finishing health care reform are falling into place. The votes are being whipped. And, after 14 months of national obsession with health care reform, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' statement on Sunday that in one week the health care bill will be "the law of the land," actually seems plausible.

Here's the latest on what to expect this week -- both politically and procedurally -- and when to expect it.

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Senate Health Care Bill Online Disclosure Provisions

November 19, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

The Senate health care reform bill (viewable here) contains numerous provisions that stress disclosure and transparency, specifically online disclosure and transparency. These provisions acknowledge that information that is meant to be disclosed and available to the public must be made available online.

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In the continuing health care debate the public option remains as the key puzzle piece in the Democrats' health care package. Today, the Senate Finance Committee is debating and voting on amendments to include a public option in their version of health care reform legislation.

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Everything In Its Right Place

September 22, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

The mark-up of the Senate Finance Committee health care reform bill is currently underway. (You can watch the proceedings on C-Span here.) While much of this morning may be filled with vacuous speech-making by the committee's members, there are over 500 amendments to be voted on over the next few days. Slate has done an excellent job in creating a Google spreadsheet of every (or almost every) amendment to the bill. Check it out as a guide to the process.

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As the summer of the Democrats' discontent winds to a close, the head count for health care reform in the Senate begins in earnest. One of the key Democratic senators on the fence is Sen. Blanche Lincoln, a member of the Senate Finance Committee and one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the 2010 election. Lincoln jumped into the news today with a quote to a reporter stating her opposition to a public option plan in a health care reform bill. "I would not support a solely government-funded public option. We can't afford that," Lincoln said. The senior Arkansas senator is also the top recipient of campaign contributions from the health industry among senators this year.

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Who Counts On Cloture?

August 19, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

While the guns of august rage at town halls throughout the country, pundits in Washington and staffers in Congress and the White House are busy counting heads to see if the object of all that fear and loathing, health care reform, has a shot at becoming law. The topic du jour is whether the Senate can overcome the 60 vote threshold of a cloture vote. Despite concerns among Democrats that they won't be able to reach the 60 vote threshold to avoid a filibuster, very few Democrats have defected on cloture votes (the vote that bypasses a filibuster) so far this year.

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Cash and Connections

July 6, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Washington Post has some shocking numbers on the insider, big-money fight against a public health insurance option: The nation's largest insurers, hospitals and medical groups have hired more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of Congress in hopes of influencing their old bosses and colleagues, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures and other records. The tactic is so widespread that three of every four major health-care firms have at least one forme...

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(This post by Isabelle Cutting, OpenCongress Research Assistant) In January, Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30] replaced the more moderate Rep. John Dingell [D, MI-15] as the Chairman for the Energy and Commerce Committee by a secret vote of 137-122 held amongst House Democrats. The motivation was to have a progressive at the helm of the committee that would hold jurisdiction over some of the most important legislation that would be coming up in the 111th Congress. Indeed, as Chairman, Rep. Wax...

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Troop-Support Calculus

June 16, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

By some bizarre turn of events, House Republicans are expected today to vote almost unanimously against a bill to fund the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their opposition to the bill, coupled with the House progressives' opposition to funding the wars in general, has thrown passage of the bill, and funding for U.S. troops overseas, in doubt.

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Hot Bills This Week on OpenCongress

June 5, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Behind the fairly long shadow cast by growing interest around immigration and continued interest in firearms legislation, here are a handful of bills that have been heating up this week for voters and viewers on OpenCongress. This analysis is based on information from the OpenCongress Battle Royale, which gives an overhead view of what bills, senators, representatives and issues are popular in Congress.

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Food Safety and Local Farming

May 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The two food safety bills in Congress - H.R. 875 and H.R. 759 - are very unpopular. Both bills, people say, would put small organic farms and CSAs out of business by forcing them to jump through the same set of hoops as big agribusiness companies like Monsanto. Details of a new bill being promoted by Rep. Henry Waxman have just been released and it looks fairly similar to the others. This new bill is the one that ultimately will move in Congress

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Taking out the Flu Pandemic Money

April 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

I always love showing off our bill text comparison tool, which displays changes to bills as they go through the legislative process in crossed-out red for striken text and green for text that has been added. The Huffington Post's reporting that the GOP stripped flue pandemic preparedness money from the stimulus (H.R. 1 ) gives me a perfect opportunity to do so. Taking a quick look at the Senate amendment (2) version that was pushed by Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME], Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] and o...

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House Passes Tobacco Regulation Bill

April 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

With somewhat less support than last year, the House has once again approved the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (H.R. 1256) which would put tobacco products under regulation from the Food and Drug Administration, but would not allow the agency to ban the products altogether. In the previous session of Congress, the House passed the bill by an overwhelming vote of 325-102; despite an expanded Democratic majority in the House, today's vote was 298-112. Twenty-one representati...

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Troubles WIth Stimulus Report Language

January 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

This caught my eye, from Congress Daily ($): >House Appropriations Chairman David Obey set off a firestorm recently by including report language for the House economic stimulus package that implied that $1 billion to fund research to compare the effectiveness of medical treatments would keep patients from more-expensive medications and procedures -- and even staffers who crafted the bill language are fuming over the report. > >"The trouble is not with the legislative language, which was care...

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