After working through the night, early on Saturday, February 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, legislation to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. On March 4, the current funding for government operations expires. Unless a Continuing Resolution (CR) is passed by both the House and Senate and signed by President Barack Obama, a government shutdown will occur. The Democratically-controlled Senate and the President have both expressed opposition to H.R. 1, the current CR, as passed by the House.
During consideration of this bill in the House, 580 amendments were offered by both parties and 60-plus hours of public debate occurred. Of these amendments, 67 were accepted or passed, changing the underlying legislation. Nine of the amendments that passed impact the funding for the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Including all of the amendments that passed, the CR cuts spending by $61billion. The final vote was 235-189.
The following nine amendments that impact PPACA passed as part of the Continuing Resolution:
Rep. Rehberg (R-MT) authored an amendment that prohibits federal funding from being used to pay any employee, officer or contractor to implement the provisions of President Obama’s health care law, stopping the Department of Health and Human Services from implementing the law.
Rep. King (R-IA) authored an amendment that strips funding for any provision of the President’s health care law.
Rep. King (R-IA) authored an amendment that prohibits the payment of salaries for any officer or employee of any federal department or agency with respect to carrying out the President’s health care law. (This amendment has virtually the same effect as Rep. Rehberg’s amendment.)
Rep. Emerson (R-MO) authored an amendment that bars the use of funds in the bill from being used to implement the individual mandate and penalties and reporting requirements of the President’s health care law.
Rep. Price (R-GA) authored an amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds from being used to carry out the medical loss ratio restrictions in the President’s health care law. These provisions require insurers to spend at least a certain percent of their premium revenues on medical care.
Rep. Gardner (R-CO) authored an amendment that blocks funds for Health Insurance Exchanges, a set of state-regulated health care plans offered under the President’s health care law.
Rep. Burgess (R-TX) authored an amendment prohibiting the use of funds for employee and officer salaries at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services, created by the President’s health care reform bill.
Rep. Pitts (R-PA) authored an amendment that prohibits the funding of salaries for any officer or employee of the government to issue regulations on essential benefits under section 1302 of the President’s health care law.
Rep. Hayworth (R-NY) authored an amendment that prohibits funds for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).