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A Public Option, Stupak Amendment Trade-Off?

November 10, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

With pro-choice, anti-public option Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME] wielding heavy influence in the Senate's health care negotiations, a trade-off of the House bill's provisions seems likely.

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Next Steps for the Stupak Abortion Amendment

November 9, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The House's passage of the health care bill on Saturday was a big deal, but it was mostly expected. The real new is the Stupak abortion amendment that was tacked onto the bill by conservative Democrats to block anyone using government subsidies to buy insurance from buying a plan that covers abortions, even if the abortion coverage is paid for completely with private premiums.

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House Passes Historic Health Care Bill

November 7, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

By a vote of 220-215, the House on Saturday night approved landmark legislation (H.R. 3962) designed to accomplish President Obama's goals of reducing health care costs, increasing choices for consumers and guaranteeing access to quality, affordable insurance for all Americans.

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Democratic leaders in the House decided early Saturday morning to allow a vote on an amendment to their health care bill that would deny abortion coverage to millions of low and middle-income people who would be eligible for health care credits. The deal on the amendment boosts the bill's chance of passing in the House today.

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Countdown to the House Health Care Vote

November 6, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

It's now just one day before the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on their bill to overhaul the health care system (H.R. 3962). Here's a rundown of where things stand at this moment.

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House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is claiming that the health care bill would require all public option enrollees to pay "monthly abortion premiums." But if you actually read the section of the bill he's referring to, it does no such thing -- in fact it is part of a safeguard in the bill to ensure that no federal money is used for funding abortions.

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Congressman Applies for Watchdog Post

November 4, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Todd Platts has submitted his name to be considered as the next comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

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House Looks to Speed Up New Credit Card Rules

November 4, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Congress included a 9-month grace period in the bill they passed in May to ban credit card companies from arbitrarily and unfairly jacking up interest rates. But, instead of playing fairly, the companies have been using the grace period to arbitrarily raise interest rates one last time.

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From The Hill, the latest on H.R. 3548, the unemployment benefits, homebuyer tax credits and carry-back relief extension bill: Senate Democrats succeeded on Wednesday at ending debate on a bill that would extend most Americans' jobless benefits by at least 14 weeks. The 97-1 cloture vote concludes a four-week standoff between the majority party and GOP leaders over the extension, a version of which passed the House in September. Democrats now expect a final vote on the substance of the b...

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Dems Release Last-Minute Health Care Bill Edits

November 4, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Last night, the Democratic leadership released a Manager's Amendment containing 42 pages of last-mute changes to their heath care bill (H.R. 3962), signaling that they are making progress in lining up the votes to pass it.

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TARP Banks Actually Denied Something

November 3, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Earlier this week, the federal government stood by and watched as TARP-recipient CIT Group went bankrupt. The Treasury might have sunk a couple billion taxpayer dollars in the deal, but it was a sign that there might be an end to the Wall Street bailout -- at least for second tier financial company that no longer seem "too big to fail" now that the fog of economic crisis has lifted a bit. But here's another small sign that the TARP banks might not be getting anything they want anymore. In May,...

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House Republicans Use OpenCongress to Read the Bill!

November 3, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Republicans in the House of Representatives are extracting chunks of legislative text from the OpenCongress health care bill page (H.R. 3962), giving their take and opening them up for discussion. They're using OpenCongress' bill text permalinking tool to refer people back to the specific lines of text in the 1,990 page bill that they're talking about.

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After more than a month of partisan delay, the Senate voted this evening to wrap up debate of H.R. 3548, the unemployment benefits extension bill. The bill is now set for easy passage later in the week, possibly late on Tuesday night but most likely on Wednesday.

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Read the Summary!

November 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

While I certainly thinking that reading the health care bill is an important, worthwhile thing to do, I also realize that 1,990 pages is a lot, especially since the text isn't really written for reading as much as it is code for changing U.S. laws. You can read and comment on the full House health care bill here on OpenCongress, but in case you don't have the time, I wanted to point out these two extremely helpful summaries that have been made available by the House Energy and Commerce Committee:...

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This Week in Congress - Health Care Hits the Floor

November 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

After many months of committee work and behind-the-scenes negotiations, health care reform legislation, H.R. 3962, is scheduled to come to the House floor for debate and a final vote this week.

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