The Senate today: Healthcare, unions and laserbeams

Another healthcare-related amendment is S.A. 9, from Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). Her amendment would repeal the 1099 tax reporting requirement in the healthcare law. As we noted late yesterday, this amendment has a chance, as both parties want to kill the 1099 requirement, and Democrats seem to be putting forward 1099 repeal as an alternative to McConnell's bill.

But there are several other amendments that will have to be decided; 16 amendments have been put forward so far. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) has his own 1099 repeal amendment that he will fight to include, although it is very similar to Stabenow's. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) also has a 1099 repeal amendment.

Another amendment from Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), S.A. 14, would deny Transportation Security Administration employees the collective bargaining rights other federal employees have.

And another from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), S.A. 8, would make it a crime to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft. Whitehouse's amendment would allow fines, prison terms of up to five years or both to those who direct laser pointers at airplanes.