Policy-ish

Overhaul Fixes Heading Back To House

Just when you thought health overhaul was a completely done deal, a few technicalities pop up to put a wrench in the works.

What do a few lines of legislation on student aid have to do with health overhaul?

What do a few lines of legislation on student aid have to do with health overhaul? iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

But, it's not a very big wrench.

Very early Thursday morning, the Senate parliamentarian, arbiter of what's cool and what's not when it comes to budget reconciliation, ruled that two bits of the House's fix bill don't directly affect the budget, a violation of the Byrd rule.

Those items, which concern changes to the federal student loan program, will have to be taken out. And the House will have to vote again on the tweaked fix package, something that will probably happen Thursday, after a final Senate vote.

Democrats successfully beat back 29 amendments to the bill proposed by Republicans

This morning House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said it's no big deal. "I expect to get this bill back from the Senate sometime this afternoon, and I would expect several hours after we will have the bill on the floor, and we will pass the bill and send it to the president," Hoyer explained on CBS' The Early Show.

NPR's David Welna said on Thursday's Morning Edition that another House vote isn't that surprising. Virtually all of the two-dozen reconciliation bills that have been done in the last 30 years have had to be tweaked and re-voted on. Democratic leaders, he said, are "not that worried about it."

The original fix-it package passed the House 220 to 211, Welna noted, so there's some margin for error.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.