Hoyer confident House will re-approve final fixes to healthcare bill

“These are very technical rulings of the parliamentarian,” Hoyer said Thursday morning during an appearance on CBS, dismissing the changes the Senate GOP had forced to the bill. 

“I expect to get this bill back from the Senate sometime this afternoon, and I would expect several hours after we will have the bill on the floor, and we will pass the bill and send it to the president,” the number two House Democrat said. 

Republicans managed their first successful point of order on early Thursday morning, when, after hours of debate, Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin ruled that some provisions affecting the Pell Grant program were out of order under the budget reconciliation rules governing the Senate debate. 

Senate Democrats had sought to avoid a second House vote on the issue, having tried to scrub their reconciliation bill of potential rules violations. Under reconciliation rules, any changes a bill makes to law must be strictly related to the budget. 

Senators voted down a bevy of GOP amendments to the reconciliation bill to try to avoid changes that would have set up another House vote, an effort which would ultimately prove fruitless after Republicans succeeded in winning the parliamentarian’s ruling on a point of order.

Hoyer said the changes were “technical,” and said that he expected no further changes to be made. He also said there was no danger of House Democrats now voting down the modified reconciliation package.

“No, I don’t think that there is any danger,” Hoyer said during an interview on CNN when asked if he’s concerned the new bill might not pass.

Update, 9:50 a.m.: Hoyer released the following statement Thursday morning regarding the congressional schedule: “The Senate is expected to complete work this afternoon on the improvements bill to the new health care reform law.  If they finish their work later today as planned, the House will take up the improvements bill with technical corrections this evening.”


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