House Cloakroom: March 15 – 21, 2010


It’s crunch time on health care. The Budget Committee will meet Monday to start marking up a shell of a Reconciliation Bill. The Rules Committee will then meet as early as Wednesday to  hollow out whatever the Budget Committee passed and then insert a new bill from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office. The Majority is still planning to use the “Slaughter Rule” that would allow the House to pass the Senate health care bill without voting on it. Final votes are expected to stretch into the weekend.

Senate Cloakroom: March 15 – 21, 2010


A new dynamic has been thrown into the health care mix: the impact of reconciliation on the remaining components of President Obama’s legislative agenda.  Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) raised the stakes last week when he suggests the controversial procedure could undermine his efforts to strike a bipartisan deal on comprehensive immigration reform.  Graham is also the only Senate Republican thought to be negotiating an agreement on global warming legislation.  Will President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) move forward on health care reconciliation at the expense of these other priorities?  Those conversations are no doubt taking place behind closed doors and could determine the outcome of Obamacare itself.

Major Floor Action:

The Senate will continue work on H.R. 1586, the FAA reauthorization bill.  Potential amendments include earmark reform, discretionary spending limits and the continuation of the DC school choice program.

Major Committee Action: