The House Ways and Means Committee in submitting its version of the House healthcare reform bill to the chamber’s budget panel added more teeth to a legislative measure that would enable a health reform bill to move quickly and with little debate in the Senate.
Ways and Means Committee seeks to ease reconciliation maneuver
The measure, known as reconciliation, allows a bill to be approved on a majority vote with little to no room for last minute changes.
The budget compromise worked out between the House and Senate earlier this year had allowed for reconciliation to be invoked, but this latest measure from Ways and Means “further opens the door” for reconciliation to take place, congressional aides explained.
At a news conference, GOP members of the Ways and Means panel argued that this new boost for reconciliation would enable the Democrats to “rush a healthcare reform bill to the floor” without proper input from Republicans—or the American public.
Ways and Means’ action to send the bill, known as the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, to the House Budget Committee, was procedural in nature, as the panel had already approved the bill over the summer.
Nevertheless, GOP members were upset that they weren’t allowed the opportunity to reopen the bill during the panel’s brief negotiation or “mark up” for further amendment.
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