Monday, March 22, 2010

The Daily Strike-3/22/10-As The Dust Settles

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. I wrote so much this morning; there isn't that much left to be said. I will keep this entry short.

HEALTH CARE: Tomorrow, President Obama will sign the Senate health care bill into law, and America will be on the path to universal health insurance. We will have full coverage of the ceremony tomorrow. It will be truly momentous.

Of course, the whole effort won't be complete until the reconciliation package of fixes passes the Senate. We found out today that Senators Lincoln (AR) and Nelson (NE) are opposed to the reconciliation bill. Lincoln cited the process as reason for her opposition (like uninsured, struggling people in Arkansas care about the reconciliation process!). Nelson is against the overhaul of the student loan industry included in the bill. Nelson is a major protector of the private insurance industry, which would be slated to lose 30,000 jobs if this bill passes. I'm sure those 30,000 jobs will NOT be offset by the million of jobs created by giving Pell Grants to students!

Since a reconciliation bill only needs 50 votes for passage, Democrats are still in good shape despite these defections. Moderate Senators Bayh (IN) and Landrieu (LA) annouced their support of the bill today, which pretty much clinches passage. First, the Democrats will have to overcome GOP procedural challenges. Debate on the bill will start tomorrow afternoon.

THE SENATE: The Senate approved a bill to authorize new FAA programs by a unanimous vote of 93-0. The Senate, in typical fashion, worked a full week on a bill that passed with zero opposition.

Off of the Senate floor, the Financial Services Commitee, led by Senator Dodd (D-CT) approved a package of financial sector reforms on a strict party line vote. Republicans allowed the Democrats to make quick work of the bill in committee, because they know that at this point, the Democrats don't have the votes to pass the Dodd bill on the floor. Democrats will have to negotiate until they get at least one Republican on board.

THE HOUSE: The House voted on a series of suspension bills today. They'll be getting real legislative business on Wednesday. They deserve a break after what they did this weekend, right?

That's it for now, I will see you tomorrow night. Leave comments!

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