Guidance on What Happens with Bill Returning to the House


Senior Hill source says plan is for House to finish bill tonight and leave town for break

Even if this means them being here very late tonight.


Very early reading behind what unfolded in the Senate overnight and consequences for the House...

From a parliamentary perspective, this is the same thing that happened to the original "Senate" bill that the House adopted over the weekend.

Both chambers must be in "synch"

before they can send legislation to the president for his signature. In essence, they have to approve the same bill.

This is what we sometimes refer to here as "ping-pong."

So the House passed its reconcilation package (which the Constitution mandates must start in the House) on Sunday. It "pinged" the bill to the Senate. Due to the ruling of the parliementarian, the bill was altered overnight in the Senate. So the Senate will "pong" this altered bill back to the House.

It is unclear if this means the bill would have to return to the House Rules Committee. The Rules Committee governs how the House handles issues on the floor. But it's quite possible. Rules would establish how much debate time is allowed, etc.

Whenever the House takes this up, we would probably have some procedural votes, debate on the Senate-altered bill, and then more procedural votes, culminating in what should be the final, pentultlimate vote on this bill.

If it goes to Rules, we have an entire layer of debate and procedural votes that precedes that.

Now, the trick is when does this all happen?

The short answer is soon as possible. But the House is in a staisis, waiting for the Senate.

If the Senate finishes at a reasonable hour today, it's quite possible the House could tackle this later tonight.

Or, they could punt and just plan to do this Friday.