House panel clears HHS approps bill

Tiahrt on Thursday led Republicans in pushing a series of amendments designed to dilute the funding bill, many of them focused on scaling back the Democrats’ new healthcare reform law. Those provisions included efforts to:

• Reinstall the Stupak/Pitts abortion amendment that had passed an early version of the House healthcare bill, only to be stripped out with much controversy in the final bill. (“This is not the venue for this issue,” Obey said.)

• Repeal and replace the healthcare law. (“This is not our jurisdiction,” Obey said.)

• Repeal the individual insurance mandate in the healthcare law. (“We have no business trying to repeal an authorization,” Obey said.)

• Repeal a health reform provision requiring businesses to file tax forms when they spend more than $600 on goods through any single company. (“We’re stepping into territory we know very little about,” Obey said.)

All of these were shot down by either a voice vote or a party-line roll call tally.

The bill now moves to the House floor.