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VIDEO: Obama's FInal HCR Speech to Wavering Dems

March 20, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

With the Rules Committee in session and the health care rallies and protests outside the Capitol today, President Obama went to Congress and gave House Democrats an off-the-cuff pep talk on tomorrow's big vote. Thanks to C-SPAN's awesome new video library, you can watch the whole thing here:

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The Manager's Amendment

March 20, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

As expected, the Rules Committee has released a "manager's amendment" (.pdf) to make some last minute changes to the budget reconciliation bill that contains the fixes to the Senate health care bill.

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"Deem and Pass" Deemed Dead

March 20, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The Rules Committee meeting is still going on. But the biggest decision of the day has already been made. The Democrats have decided not to use the "self-executing rule," otherwise known as "deem and pass," and will instead hold a separate vote on passing the Senate health care bill.

This is a strong sign that Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] has more than enough votes for passing the health care bill on Sunday.

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Setting the Rules

March 20, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The House Committee on Rules meets at 10 a.m. ET today to craft the "rule" that will govern the big health care vote that is scheduled for Sunday in the House. The biggest question they'll have to tackle will be whether to use a "self-executing rule," which would allow the Democrats to deem the health care bill to be passed in the House without requiring them to take a stand-alone vote on it.

Here's your update on what to watch on Saurday as health care reform moves closer to the finish line.

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The Week In Review

March 19, 2010 - by Eric Naing

To outward appearances, Washington is in a kind of holding pattern on health care. Most of the procedural hurdles like the getting a CBO score and crafting a reconciliation bill are out of the way and the House is expected to start the voting procedure on Saturday with a final vote happening on Sunday afternoon. Behind the scenes, however, both parties are furiously whipping the remaining undecided House Democrats to vote one way or the other on the bill. To help catch up with what's happened and to prepare for the implication's of Sunday's vote, check out what we've been up to this week here at OpenCongress.

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Gannett News uses OC's new health care widget

March 19, 2010 - by David Moore

OpenCongress is very pleased to announce that the Gannett news company is using one of our free widgets on their online Topic page for Health Care Reform. You can check out the page here, and you can grab the free widget for yourself here -- see what people across the U.S. are saying about the bill, and even customize it for all 50 states.

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New Bill, New Perks

March 19, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

With the release of the new package of fixes to the Senate health care bill, some of the most porky items in the bill, like the "Cornhusker Kickback," the "Louisiana Purchase" and the "Gator Aid," have been eliminated. But some new state-specific provisions have also been added.

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Health Care Bill Summary: Follow the Endgame

March 18, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The 72 hour clock has begun to tick, all the materials for the final health care bill are online, a House vote is tentatively set for Sunday, President Obama has again postponed his Asia trip, and the votes are steadily flipping in the direction of getting this bill done and signed into law. Click through for a summary & links with everything you need to keep up as health care reform approaches the finish line.

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Congress Links

March 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The clock is officially ticking. Now that the Congressional Budget Office has scored the revised health care bill and that language has been posted online, a 72-hour countdown has begun until House Democrats will vote on the bill. All signs point to that vote being held sometime on Sunday at the earliest. And now that the president has delayed his Asia trip till the summer, Obama, Pelosi, labor and other liberal interest groups will all be working throughout the weekend to get House Democrats to vote for the bill. As always, here's today's roundup of articles and blog posts of note.

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Health Care Reconciliation Bill Summary

March 18, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The full text of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 has been released, and we're hustling to covert it into HTML and get it online for easier digging, commenting and permalinking. We'll have that in a matter of hours. In the meantime, I recommend you read this summary as prepared by the House Rules Committee that describes in plain English how the bill would amend the Senate health care bill and how it would affect current law. Summary posted below the fold.

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After days of delay, the Congressional Budget Office has released their full scoring (.pdf) of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R.4872) that is designed to bridge the gap between the more conservative Senate version of the health care bill and the progressive House version. The reconciliation bill is designed to strike a balance between the two and, based on the numbers alone, it appears to achieve that, and it even supercedes the oher bills in a couple areas.

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CBO Score of Revised Health Care Bill Leaks

March 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Our long national nightmare is finally over. The Congressional Budget Office's score of the amended Senate health care bill has finally leaked. According to the CBO, the final package will cost $940 billion and will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the first ten years and possibly $1.2 trillion over the next ten years.

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Congress Links

March 17, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Health care continues to make this week a real roller coaster. Everyone right now is waiting in anticipation for the Congressional Budget Office's score of the reconciliation bill – which some expected two days ago. And while there used to be talk of a House vote on Friday or Saturday, that timeline is slowing shifting to late Saturday or Sunday. Until then, here's our web roundup to tide you over.

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WWGSD

March 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Mike Konczal of the excellent Rorty Bomb blog is a former Wall Street financial engineer. He took a look at the recently unveiled Dodd financial reform bill through the galsses of his Wall Street experience to see what Goldman Sachs might be thinking.

I actually read this bill as if I was a Goldman Sachs lobbyist, looking for all the sections that I hated and made a list of what items I needed to lobby hard on to kill or modify.

My final verdict, by the time I got to the end? If I was a Goldman lobbyist, I’d probably shrug and go “eh, pass it.”

 

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Put Public Information Online

March 17, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Many people are familiar with the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, which forces government agencies to disclose certain types of undisclosed information. But what about the government data lying around that's technically public but not easily available? This is where our colleagues at the Sunlight Foundation come in.

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