House Republicans barely managed to pass their Obamacare repeal bill earlier this month, and they now face the possibility of having to vote again on their controversial health measure.
House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t yet sent the bill to the Senate because there’s a chance that parts of it may need to be redone, depending on how the Congressional Budget Office estimates its effects. House leaders want to make sure the bill conforms with Senate rules for reconciliation, a mechanism that allows Senate Republicans to pass the bill with a simple majority.
Republicans had rushed to vote on the health bill so the Senate could get a quick start on it, even before the CBO had finished analyzing a series of last-minute changes. The CBO is expected to release an updated estimate next week.
The score for this part of the post should be the sound of Paul Ryan stepping on rakes, walking around with a metal bucket on one foot, falling down stairs and so on.
“Unaware,” said Representative Jeff Denham of California, with noticeable surprise Thursday, when advised that his party leaders still hadn’t sent the bill over to the Senate. Denham was one of the House Republicans who ended up voting for the measure, after earlier in the week opposing it.
“I am on the whip team and we have a lot of conversations, but we have not had that one. So I am going to look into it,” said Denham, a member of the party’s vote-counting team.
This part of the post should be scored to the sound of Ryan insisting he sent it ages ago while making that face that he thinks is sincere, but really makes him look like a bloodhound that’s planning to go for your neck.
According to several aides and other procedural experts, if Republicans send the bill to the Senate now and the CBO later concludes it doesn’t save at least $2 billion, it would doom the bill and Republicans would have to start their repeal effort all over with a new budget resolution. Congressional rules would likely prevent Republicans from fixing the bill after it’s in the Senate, the aides said.
If Republican leaders hold onto the bill until the CBO report is released, then Ryan and his team could still redo it if necessary. That would require at least one more House vote of some sort.
I think it safe to say that if Lyin’ Ryan has to tell his party they have to vote on the AHCA again, House Republicans will hold a raffle. The grand prize will be the ability to chuck him in the Potomac with a dozen life-sized bronze busts of Reagan tied to his feet. Second prize winner gets to unleash the snakeheads.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Thursday that the delay is further proof that Republicans voted for this bill “before they knew what was in it.”
The speaker and other Republicans urgently pushed their May 4 floor vote, despite a polarized Republican conference, using the frantic final hours to win over holdouts. Even so, 20 Republicans still voted against the bill. After the bill squeaked through, Ryan and other senior Republicans dashed to the White House for an unusual celebration of a one-chamber vote.
Grotesque and stupid is not spelled u-n-u-s-u-a-l.
That 217-213 tally appeared to be a rare legislative victory for them and President Donald Trump, even if the vote was a difficult one for some rank-and-file House Republicans, who had qualms. Some have since been hit with protests in their districts and anger from constituents.
Now, two weeks later, the American Health Care Act, H.R. 1628, hasn’t been transmitted from the House to the Senate, according to Senate Bill Clerk Sara Schwartzman.
Apparently the Senate is experiencing a dearth of fucks about this bill and has not asked for it.