Today, at 5 p.m. in the U. S. Senate, the GOP will face a test of their team spirit and cohesion. This is when the Senate Majority Leader has scheduled a procedural vote on the highly anticipated financial reform bill. The question Senate Republicans will have to answer is whether or not they are ready to begin the debate on this “too-big-to-fail” banking regulation bill. The Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating all aspects of this bill for months, with the meetings sputtering at times, but mostly flowing smoothly as both sides believed there was a way for them to jointly support this unique, sweeping reform of the financial services industry.
Elizabeth Letchworth | All Articles
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Elizabeth Letchworth is the Owner-Founder of GradeGov.com, 4 times elected United States Senate Secretary for the Majority/Minority, U. S. Senate-retired, presently senior legislative advisor @ Covington & Burling, LLC
While all eyes were on the House of Representatives this weekend, those Members of Congress that relied on the success of the two-bill strategy process to get health care passed, should really be concerned about the Senate. You see, now that the Speaker achieved the votes needed to pass the Senate health care bill Sunday, this bill goes directly to the president, to become the law of the land. The second bill, the reconciliation/correction bill, now goes over to the Senate. The Senate is where the facts and history will show that a legislative train wreck could easily occur.
Now that the Health Care reconciliation-fix bill has been posted on the Internet, the 72 hour clock begins counting down to a possible mid-afternoon vote on the House floor this Sunday. This 72 hour "rule" was loosely implemented by Speaker Pelosi back in September of 2009. This was when House members were about to garner enough votes to pass a discharge petition that would require any legislation to be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before a final vote could occur on the House floor. When the Speaker saw the writing on the wall, she embraced the new timetable and thus this 72 hour timetable has been an informal rule in the House ever since. While the clock is ticking, Sen. Coburn and other GOP Senators have directed some of their staff to begin pouring over appropriations bills that will be coming through the House and Senate later this spring. These staffers will be looking for any projects in states or districts of Members of Congress that support the upcoming Health Care bill. In his press conference on Thursday, Sen. Coburn promised to "out" any Members of Congress that might sell his or her vote on the Health Care bill for projects in their state.
The health care vote could result in a fatal diagnosis in Nov.
“Trust but verify.” This famous quote most often attributed to the late President Ronald Reagan is quickly becoming a resounding mantra for the Democrats in Congress, especially those that serve in the House of Representatives. trust is what the speaker of the House must sell to a minimum of 216 members of the House in order for her to garner the needed votes to pass the Senate health care bill through the House chamber in order to send the health care bill to the president to become law. This trust factor is hampering her ability to secure the magic number of votes to pass the bill. You see, the trust factor not only applies to the speaker and her word, but it extends to actions of the U. S. Senate.