After midnight on Saturday night, the House Rules Committee finished its work -- there will be debate tomorrow, and likely two votes, up or down -- both on the House floor. One vote will be on the Senate version of the package; the other on "reconciliation" measures, to amend the Senate version, to harmonize it with the House's current thinking -- and thus send it back to the Senate, where the Senate is poised to adopt the changes in reconciliation. It is likely the President will sign the original House-Senate version, probably even before the reconciliation bill is finished in the Senate, on Monday or Tuesday.
The New York Times' Prescriptions blog, has the run-down:
. . . .Under the rule approved by the committee shortly before midnight, the House will spend two hours debating both the Senate health bill and a budget reconciliation measure that includes revisions to the Senate bill.
Once that debate is completed, the House will vote on the Senate bill — a step that some Democrats have been reluctant to take because they dislike aspects of the Senate bill and will not support it without changes.
If the Senate bill is approved, the House would then vote on the budget reconciliation measure. The terms of debate restrict the ability of Republicans to derail the legislation, but there are still a number of parliamentary weapons at their disposal and they have vowed to use all of them.
The committee did give Democrats an escape hatch, allowing for the proceedings to be postponed at the discretion of the speaker. . . .
C-SPAN will cover it all, beginning at 1 pm, EDT -- streaming video, right here. I may live-blog it, depending on my other commitments. The below image will show "Live" -- if I am going to do so, tomorrow. G'night.
Δ 11:47 pm EDT -- US Health Care Reform package draws 219 "Aye" votes -- it passes; Reconciliation package draws 220 "Ayes" -- it passes. On to the Senate. The President of the United States will be televised, speaking on this topic, in about 20 minutes' time. G'night -- I'll watch that video, tomorrow. Well-played, indeed.
Δ 4:07 pm EDT -- Rep. Stupak speaking now -- on C-SPAN.org -- And in view of the agreed Executive Order, Rep. Stupak WILL VOTE IN FAVOR OF THE PACKAGE.
Δ 3:51 pm EDT -- Rep. Stupak will hold a C-SPAN press conference at 4 pm today. No need to do that, unless he is going to support it. If he were going to oppose it, he would need to be on the floor of the House. He won't be. Game over. It passes.
Δ 12:45 pm EDT -- Rep. Stupak has switched -- "Yes" according to MSNBC, per C-SPAN feed.
Δ 12:17 pm EDT -- Rep. Kaptur has switched into the "Yes" column. Ms. Kaptur had been concerned that the legislation did not contain sufficient restrictions on the use of federal money for insurance coverage of abortions, but had been negotiating with the White House about a potential executive order to clarify federal policy.
Her switch to the “yes” column suggests that Democrats are on the brink of securing the 216 votes that will be needed to pass the health care legislation. . . .