From POLITICS DAILY:
With no votes to spare, Democratic senators moved health care reform past its first major hurdle Saturday night, with a party-line, 60-to-39 vote to begin consideration of the 2,000-plus page bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled this week.
The bill that senators will begin debating after Thanksgiving combines proposals passed by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Committee Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), and is designed to make health insurance more accessible and affordable. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would expand coverage to 94 percent of Americans at a cost of $848 billion over the next 10 years.
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(Shnooks and ninnies, from the top: Chinless Mitch McConnell, Kit So-Not-James Bond, Orrin Down-The Hatch, Richard Who? Burr, Mean Mike Enzi, Chuck Yer-Ass-Is Grassley, Captain Underpants, Limpy Snowe, Diaper David Vitter)
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From The Washington Post:
As business and labor gird for battle over legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize, the debate could be transformed by a “third way” proposed by three companies that like to project a progressive image: Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods.
Like other businesses, the three companies are opposed to two of the Employee Free Choice Act’s components — a provision that would allow workers to form a union if a majority sign pro-union cards, without having to hold a secret-ballot election, and one that would impose binding arbitration when employers and unions fail to reach a contract after 120 days.
But the companies’ chief executive officers say they also recognize that just opposing the legislation, commonly called “card check,” is not enough because of the widespread perception in Democrat-dominated Washington that there is not a level playing field between labor and business. So the CEOs have come up with ideas they hope will form the basis of new legislation.
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From The Hill:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) vote to move the stalled nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick this summer made Republicans more willing to work with her on another important issue: an anti-gang bill that she had worked on for over a decade.
Before Feinstein surprised her fellow Democrats and liberal advocacy groups by casting the key vote in committee for Southwick in August, it did not appear the conservative nominee would reach the Senate floor.
DiFi is just full of surprises lately, none of them good.
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