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Panel Advances Reconciliation Bill

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Members of the House Budget Committee have voted 21-16 to report the Reconciliation Act of 2010 to the House Rules Committee without revisions.

Congressional Democrats are using the bill as a vehicle for trying to get a health bill through the Senate with fewer than 60 votes.

All of the Republicans on the committee who participated voted against the bill, and all but 2 Democrats on the committee who participated voted for the bill. The Democrats who voted against it are Reps. Alan Boyd, D-Fla., and Thomas Chester Edwards, D-Texas.

House Budget Committee members now are debating proposals for non-binding recommendations to consider amendments to the bill; the committee says debate on the proposals must be completed by midnight. Republican opponents of the bill are not allowed to propose formal amendments to the bill.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the highest-ranking Republican on the committee, blasted the effort to pass a health bill using the reconciliation process, which was designed to streamline the passage of critical budget bills.

“If this process fails, the whole health care house of cards collapses,” Ryan says. From Ryan’s perspective, he says, it looks as if the Democrats are saying, “We can’t pass this bill the right way, so we’ll pass it the Washington way.”


For more information about the health bill reconciliation process, please see Lawmakers Debate What Parliamentarian Said.


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