Home National Politics House of Representatives Debates, Votes on Health Care Reform Legislation

House of Representatives Debates, Votes on Health Care Reform Legislation [UPDATES]


According to TPM, the schedule for today’s historic health care reform votes in the U.S. House of Representatives.

1 pm: House convenes

~5-6 pm: Vote on the “self-executing” rule

~8 pm: Vote on reconciliation bill

~9 pm: Vote on Senate bill

You can watch all this, plus whatever commotion in the galleries goes on before the police haul the protestors out of there, live on CSPAN.

In other news related to this debate: at least a few Republicans are denouncing the racist and homophobic slurs from anti-health-care-reform protestors yesterday; Rick Boucher reportedly “has decided his vote — but isn’t telling anyone what it is;” and Rep. Bart Stupak’s vote remains in question. Stay tuned…

UPDATE 4:08 pm: TPM reports, “The White House has just released the final text of the executive order which is the basis of the aforementioned agreement with the Stupak group.”  That should clinch it, but I’ll believe it when the votes are actually counted.

UPDATE 7:08 pm: The Hill reports, “House Democrats have approved the rule for debate on the healthcare bill, moving them one step closer toward a final vote on the legislation. The rule was passed 224-206, with 28 Democrats voting against the measure. All Republicans cast “no” votes. A procedural vote on the rules passed by a similar count, 228-202.” Here is the roll call vote on the 224-206 vote, showing Glenn Nye and Rick Boucher voting “nay.” Not good.

UPDATE 7:12 pm: Minority Leader Boehner tells Republicans to “‘behave like grown-ups’ if the healthcare bill is passed by the House on Sunday.”

UPDATE 8:07 pm: Summary of Republican debating points=”socialism….blah blah…government takeover…blah blah…oh yeah socialism…blah blah.”

UPDATE 8:23 pm: Rich Anthony tweets, “As we stand on the verge of passing historic Health Care Reform, I am proud of my fellow Democrats and I urge them to continue to improve the bill until we have true universal health care. Heath Care is a right of all Americans.”

UPDATE 9:24 pm: Former Bush 43 economic speechwriter David Frum says this is “Waterloo” for someone – the Republicans. “Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s. It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster.”

UPDATE 9:57 pm: While we’re waiting for history to be made, here’s Ted Kennedy on why “now is the time for health care reform.” This one’s for you, Teddy!

UPDATE 10:17 pm: John Boehner is unhinged. Great credit goes to Nancy Pelosi for her leadership on this issue. Shortly, the House votes and America becomes a better, stronger nation.

UPDATE 10:32 pm: House now voting on “Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendments to H.R. 3590 – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

UPDATE 10:47 pm: H.R. 3590 just passed, 219-212 history is made! 🙂 [The roll call vote is here.

UPDATE 11:04 pm: House now voting on “Motion to Recommit H.R. 4872.”  

UPDATE 11:08 pm: House rejects the Motion to Recommit H.R. 4872.

UPDATE 11:20 pm: Last but not least, the House will vote on “Final Passage of H.R. 4872 – Reconciliation Act of 2010.”

UPDATE Monday morning: Tom Perriello issues a statement that says, in part…(see after the “flip”)

For more than a century, our leaders have promised affordable universal healthcare to all Americans. Today we delivered that result in a way that our local hospitals say will improve quality and reduce costs for patients. Middle-class families will save $1,000 to $2,000 per year, and small business owners will see the cost of covering their workers drop. This bill will help our rural hospitals and clinics keep their doors open, improve health care for over 400,000 local residents, reduce the federal deficit, and provide coverage to 48,000 more individuals in the 5th district alone — more than the population of Danville.

At the end of the day, this decision for me came down to whether working families would see savings at the kitchen table. They will. I asked whether seniors will see the Medicare Trust Fund extended and the cost of prescription drugs drop. They will. As I have heard from our major hospitals that endorsed the bill, this legislation will improve health care and bring down costs for Virginians.

UPDATE: Jim Moran says…

Today we will define who we are – as Americans, and as Democrats or Republicans.

No Republican will vote for this bill because they say they want a smaller government, lower taxes, and less spending.

Democrats, on the other hand, believe that America’s government can be fiscally responsible and play an essential role in helping America achieve its true greatness.

We can see America is a lesser nation when we have to pay twice what other countries citizens’ pay for health care, but we live shorter and less healthy lives; when millions of America’s families lose their homes and life savings because a loved one gets seriously sick.

We know that we can reduce the suffering of our people, while lengthening and bettering their lives.

As with Social Security and Medicare and Civil Rights legislation, it is now time for another change. That’s why we chose public service and why we, as Democrats, will pass this bill today.

UPDATE: Gerry Connolly says…

Tonight, the Congress made history by sending to the President landmark legislation that will better the lives of tens of millions of American families and tens of thousands of families in Northern Virginia.

After more than a year’s work, we have fulfilled a promise I made to my constituents.  This is not a new concept or a new process.  For more than 100 years, since the presidency of Teddy Roosevelt, Democratic and Republican presidents and Congresses have attempted to enact meaningful health care reform in this country.  Tonight, we succeeded.

The Passage of this reform legislation will stop insurance company abuses, rein in health care costs for families and small businesses, strengthen and guarantee the solvency of Medicare for our seniors, reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion, retain access to doctors and health plans, and expand quality health care to more than 30 million Americans.

This legislation rivals the passage of the Social Security and Medicare laws in terms of how it will improve the lives of all Americans and for future generations.  For 30 million Americans who lack health insurance and for the 14,000 Americans who lose their health insurance each day, this was a life-changing, and sometimes lifesaving, vote.

Tonight the U.S. House of Representatives put principle above politics.  This was not an easy vote, but it was the right vote for the 11th Congressional District of Virginia and our nation.

  • Between printing out my brackets and now printing out a list of House Representatives for my son to check off during the vote (yes, we’re that kind of household…I want him to see the results of why we work hard during campaigns and why it’s important) I’m afraid my carbon footprint today isn’t the best.

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      Go, Jesse!

      Doing an awesome job.  15 minute  

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    is pretty painful right now.  Drier is a piece of work (and Deem and Pass hypocrite).  

    • KathyinBlacksburg
  • KathyinBlacksburg

    US Rep Jesse Jackson, Jr.  And I really appreciate how quickly he speaks and how little time he allows going to waste. He’s also swinging a great gavel!

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    gives the impression that there are a gazillion protesters outside the capitol instead of a loud small group.  And it kept the audio of a small number of protesters on while the vote is taken.  This gave the false impression that there is a huge rally.  Only after the occasional pan-out do you realize there aren’t that many “protesters.”  More “fair and balanced” coverage…

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    “speechifying” and “debate.”  A bit plodding (I think we have heard it all by now)… but here we go.  

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    One More Step Towards Health Insurance Reform

    Posted by Dan Pfeiffer on March 21, 2010 at 04:16 PM EDT

    Today, the President announced that he will be issuing an executive order after the passage of the health insurance reform law that will reaffirm its consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion.

    While the legislation as written maintains current law, the executive order provides additional safeguards to ensure that the status quo is upheld and enforced, and that the health care legislation’s restrictions against the public funding of abortions cannot be circumvented.

    The President has said from the start that this health insurance reform should not be the forum to upset longstanding precedent.  The health care legislation and this executive order are consistent with this principle.

    The President is grateful for the tireless efforts of leaders on both sides of this issue to craft a consensus approach that allows the bill to move forward.

    A text of the pending executive order follows:


    – – – – – – –


    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (approved March __, 2010), I hereby order as follows:

    Section 1.  Policy.  

    Following the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“the Act”), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment.   The purpose of this Executive Order is to establish a comprehensive, government-wide set of policies and procedures to achieve this goal and to make certain that all relevant actors-Federal officials, state officials (including insurance regulators) and health care providers-are aware of their responsibilities, new and old.

    The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges.  Under the Act, longstanding Federal laws to protect conscience (such as the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. §300a-7, and the Weldon Amendment, Pub. L. No. 111-8, §508(d)(1) (2009)) remain intact and new protections prohibit discrimination against health care facilities and health care providers because of an unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

    Numerous executive agencies have a role in ensuring that these restrictions are enforced, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  

    Section 2.  Strict Compliance with Prohibitions on Abortion Funding in Health Insurance Exchanges.  The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) in the health insurance exchanges that will be operational in 2014.  The Act also imposes strict payment and accounting requirements to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services in exchange plans (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) and requires state health insurance commissioners to ensure that exchange plan funds are segregated by insurance companies in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, OMB funds management circulars, and accounting guidance provided by the Government Accountability Office.

    I hereby direct the Director of OMB and the Secretary of HHS to develop, within 180 days of the date of this Executive Order, a model set of segregation guidelines for state health insurance commissioners to use when determining whether exchange plans are complying with the Act’s segregation requirements, established in Section 1303 of the Act, for enrollees receiving Federal financial assistance.  The guidelines shall also offer technical information that states should follow to conduct independent regular audits of insurance companies that participate in the health insurance exchanges.  In developing these model guidelines, the Director of OMB and the Secretary of HHS shall consult with executive agencies and offices that have relevant expertise in accounting principles, including, but not limited to, the Department of the Treasury, and with the Government Accountability Office.  Upon completion of those model guidelines, the Secretary of HHS should promptly initiate a rulemaking to issue regulations, which will have the force of law, to interpret the Act’s segregation requirements, and shall provide guidance to state health insurance commissioners on how to comply with the model guidelines.

    Section 3.  Community Health Center Program.  

    The Act establishes a new Community Health Center (CHC) Fund within HHS, which provides additional Federal funds for the community health center program.  Existing law prohibits these centers from using federal funds to provide abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), as a result of both the Hyde Amendment and longstanding regulations containing the Hyde language.  Under the Act, the Hyde language shall apply to the authorization and appropriations of funds for Community Health Centers under section 10503 and all other relevant provisions.  I hereby direct the Secretary of HHS to ensure that program administrators and recipients of Federal funds are aware of and comply with the limitations on abortion services imposed on CHCs by existing law.  Such actions should include, but are not limited to, updating Grant Policy Statements that accompany CHC grants and issuing new interpretive rules.

    Section 4.  General Provisions.  

    (a) Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:  (i) authority granted by law or presidential directive to an agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

    (b) This Executive Order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

    (c) This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees or agents, or any other person.



  • If you’re playing a drinking game, take 2 shots for “kabuki theater” earlier and 5 shots for using totalitarianism, socialism and communism in the same 45 seconds. Good grief, Goopers love using scare words without knowing what they mean.

    Ronald Reagan got rid of the ghosts of communism, and now under the reign of Barack Obama, the ghosts of communism are sneaking back in under this socialist bill. Say no to this bill, say no to totalitarianism, say no to setting up this socialist utopia.

  • This won’t be our Waterloo. More like our Bastogne. Yes, it looks bad now, but we’ll end up emerging stronger than before.  

  • normanva

    As a swingvoter I used to vote republican at times. Hell will freeze over before I vote republican again.  It has become the party of big business, the wacked out far right, and their brainwashed supporters.  As folks see how the healthcare bill benefits them, the republicans will look like fools after talking about a socialist takeover, kill granny, etc.  

  • bruce roemmelt

    proud to be a Dem!  still got a lot of work to do.  i see that Krystal is the first of two endorsed progressives @ PCCC.  

    besides, every time i try to iron my tin foil had the reflection is so bad it make my skin oranger – ORANGER!