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Federal Health Update, January 13, 2017

Senate Republicans took their first major step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, approving a budget blueprint that would allow them to gut the health care law without the threat of a Democratic filibuster.

After a marathon session, the Senate voted 51 to 48 to approve a budget measure that would clear the way for the health care law to be repealed with a simple Senate majority.

The timeline below is provided by Community Catalyst:

Budget Resolution

  • The Senate introduced a shell budget bill on January 3rdthat kicked off the process in both chambers of Congress.
  • Senate rules require 50 hours of debate which will began yesterday, January 4th.
  • This first debate period is expected to end on January 11thwith the start of “vote-a-rama”.
  • Vote-a-rama is a rapid series of votes in the Senate on budget related amendments to the resolution. This could go on for an extended period of time, likely many long hours.
  • The Senate will vote on the final resolution following the vote-a-rama and will send the resolution to the House which will move it quickly to the floor for a vote. The House vote could happen on January 13that the earliest.

Budget Reconciliation

  • The budget resolution gives Congress instructions to create the actual language in the budget reconciliation package.
  • The House will draft the actual language in two committees—Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce. We expect this part of the process to happen the week of January 23rd.
  • Once the language is final, the bill will move to the House floor for a vote and will then be sent to the Senate.
  • We expect the bill to skip the Senate committee process and go directly to the floor.  However, Senate rules require 20 hours of debate and there will likely be some votes on amendments.  Only 51 votes are required to pass budget reconciliation in the Senate.
  • Republicans hope to send the final legislation to President Trump by February 20th



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