House Budget approves reconciliation package

The House Budget Committee began its consideration this afternoon of a reconciliation package that will make budget-related changes to the health care overhaul bill expected to be taken up this week by the House. 

The reconciliation instructions delete several agreements made with Democratic senators, delay an excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans, add affordability and oversight provisions and include more funding for community health centers. 

The bill was ordered reported to the House without revisions by a 21-16 vote, with two Democrats Reps. Alan Boyd (D-Fla.) and Chet Edwards (D-Texas) voting against the bill. 

House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-S.C.) explained that all work on the bill has to be done by midnight as the committee moved on to nonbinding motions to instruct. 

Budget ranking member Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called the House committee process on the health care bill a "lynchpin for health care and a vehicle for the back room deals that will buy the votes to pass the bill. "We're not governing here today ... this is an abuse of the budget procedure."