Republicans Succeed in Sending Health Bill Back to House
March 25, 2010
(ChattahBox)—After a contentious late night Senate session that didn’t end, until right before dawn, Republican lawmakers were able to convince the Parliamentarian that two minor provisions in the student loan measure violated the strict rules of the reconciliation process. The deleted passages alter the version of the Senate bill voted on by the House, which will now require another vote. But the House is expected to vote on the final Senate bill either late Thursday or early Friday, before lawmakers break for the Easter recess.
The Republican Senators pounded the Democrats with dozens of amendments to the healthcare reform bill, hoping to win on at least one measure, to ship the entire bill back to the committee process, forcing the House to start the debate from scratch. But the Democratic caucus held together, beating back one GOP amendment after another until late into the night.
However, during the early morning hours, Republican lawmakers scored a minor victory in succeeding in their motion to strike two provisions from the bill involving student Pell grants. Neither measure will affect the healthcare reform measures, nor the revamping of the student loan program.
Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was pleased that the healthcare measures remained intact. “The parliamentarian struck two minor provisions tonight from in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. But this bill’s passage in the Senate is a big win for the American people,” he said.
According to the report in the Washington Post:
“A senior Democratic aide said one of the problematic items is a “hold-harmless provision,” which was designed to prevent reductions in individual student grants if appropriated funds for Pell Grants declines. The second adjustment was described as “a conforming change, to strike obsolete language.” “These changes do not impact the reforms to the student loan programs” contained in the health-care legislation, said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”
The Senate plans to convene this morning at 9:45 a.m. to hold the final debates and to vote on the bill by the afternoon, before sending it back to the House for a second vote.
The vote in the House on the altered bill is expected to be passed as is, without further changes.
Source: Washington Post