Saturday, August 13, 2011

11th Cir. finds healthcare mandate unconstitutional

From Politico:
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that the health care reform law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance is unconstitutional, a striking blow to the legislation that increases the odds the Supreme Court will choose to review the law.

The panel partially upheld a ruling issued in January by Judge Roger Vinson, who struck down the entire health reform law. However, the 11th Circuit said that the rest of the legislation can stand even if the mandate is unconstitutional.

The panel also said that the law’s expansion of Medicaid is constitutional, ruling against the states.
Read more here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Debt bill passes the House

Last major roadblock cleared. From Politico:
With the government running on fumes, Congress and the White House moved quickly Monday toward expanding Treasury’s borrowing authority and putting in motion an ambitious plan promising between $2.1 trillion to $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years.The hastily-written 74-page bill—never reviewed by a legislative committee and rushed to the floor— cleared the House on a 269-161 vote late Monday. The Senate is poised to act Tuesday—the very day of the threatened default. But passage seems all but certain given the margin in the House and unified support of Senate leaders of both parties.
Read more here.


UPDATE: Senate passes, Pres. Obama signs debt ceiling bill to avoid default.

No debt vote yet

Even though party leaders have arrived at a "deal," voting has not yet occurred in the House or Senate on the measure. While the House is scheduled to vote tonight on the bill (after markets close, lest we forget the TARP fiasco) there are signs that members on both sides are not playing ball:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, "You'll have to ask the speaker. He has the majority." Democrats met for over two hours on the debt ceiling compromise Monday afternoon in the Capitol. Vice President Joe Biden offered a personal appeal to lawmakers to support it—Democratic support is expected to be crucial to getting it over the goal line.
Minority Leader Pelosi's comment, made at 2:35 p.m., likely indicates strong push-back from the House Progressive Caucus. Let's hope this gets done soon so we can all move on happily--at least until after 2012 when this nonsense likely comes up again. For a play-by-play on the debt ceiling negotiations, see the National Journal.