Up Next on Health Care: The Senate

Now that the House is closing in on vote day, I thought I’d sketch out briefly what happens Senate side once the House is done. I have something more detailed coming, for those who can stomach the read.

Will put it out tomorrow.

This is a VERY rough guess of days --- so don’t hold me to them. It’s just meant as a rough guide.


Let’s pretend the House finishes up – passes reconciliation & the $875 billion Senate health care bill.

***REMEMBER --- the President MUST sign the Senate bill before senators can pull the trigger on reconciliation in their chamber.



The Senate likely is still working w/ the House on paperwork, etc.



Possible first day of action; there is no dilatory move Republicans can employ at this point.

Reconciliation legislation is “privileged” – no one can block it.


Reconciliation requires 20 hours of debate. Likely it is divided by 10 hours the 1st day; 10 hours the 2nd day. (Unclear how they’ll schedule this time, but it is equally divided.)

What will you hear? Republicans will spell out their points of order (think of these as legislative challenges to items in the bill); their amendments.



2nd 10-hour day of debate.



“Vote-a-rama” --- literally, this is what it’s called (I’m not just bein’ cute). 2 minutes of debate (1 min Dem; 1 min GOP), followed by a vote; then 2 min of debate (equally divided), followed by a vote. You get the idea.

Republicans are allowed to offer as many amendments as they can write, BUT --- remember, the vote-a-rama goes on and on until they’re done.

Now --- will they go thru the night Thursday?

Possible – but likely not. Dems know Republicans can only last so long.


If the bill is altered even by one word, it must be sent back to the House for consideration.  And the "ping pong" process then ensues.