Health Care Countdown: As Busy As Tomorrow Might Be, It Just Got Crazier
By Chad Pergram
Of course everyone is focused on the Supreme Court tomorrow as the health care opinion will be handed down shortly after 10 am ET. But as though it wasn’t zany enough, it just got a little zanier.
For most of this Congress, House Republicans have held off conducting most legislative business on the floor until afternoons. This is to accommodate hearings and the like, usually taking place in the morning. This is not always the case, but has been the rule throughout this Congress – except on specific days, such as those when there is major legislation pending.
Well, tomorrow just got weirder.
Multiple sources tell me the House is going to meet for legislative business tomorrow in the morning and bring up the “rule,” which will manage the two contempt of Congress resolutions on the floor later ... as the Supreme Court hands down its decision on health care.
The “rule” debate is technically not the debate on the resolutions themselves, but it’s the first time the issue comes to the floor and is often feisty.
In fact, there could even be a vote sequence shortly after the health care decision. When this might start will all depend.
There are a couple of reasons. There are lots of conspiracy theories that the GOP wants to “bury” contempt by scheduling it the same day and time as the health care opinion. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) tried to put the kibosh on that this morning, saying this vote was scheduled last week (but the exact date wasn’t settled until SCOTUS did not hand down health care on Monday, meaning Thursday was the next option).
Second, the actual debate on contempt will take up some time. Plus, there are other bills the House needs to debate. So, floor time is at a premium.
Third, the Congressional baseball game (Democrats versus Republicans) is tomorrow night at Nationals Park, and those on the Hill want to get out of here for the ballgame. So they want to clear contempt off the floor before that. No one here will say it. But that is one of the most compelling reasons.