Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sanity on the Hill for a Change

UPDATE: It's the law now. The President signed it.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asked us to wait until the bill was passed to see what was in it. We all know that this refers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform or PPACA). Most observers would say that the bill (now law) had a number of good things in it. Most observers would also say that it had a number of bad things in it. With regard to some of those elements, however, there was near unanimity. One, in particular, is the requirement that businesses and landlords file a Form 1099 with the IRS for all goods and services purchased with value above $600. Surely, this has something to do with either patient protection or affordable care, but the connection escapes me.

In the House of Representatives, the bill passed by a vote of 314-112. In fact, in addition to Representative Dan Lungren (R-CA) who introduced the bill, there were 273 co-sponsors. That was enough to get it through the House without any of the non-sponsors voting for it. The co-sponsors were from both parties. No Republicans voted against the bill. The Democrats were fairly evenly split with roughly 40% of them supporting passage of the bill.

Yesterday, the Senate acted on the bill, introduced by Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) and co-sponsored by 10 others representing both major parties. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 87-12. The Library of Congress website has not yet reported the vote, so I can't report to you who the 12 with particularly lame brains are, but if you find the need to know yourself, check here and click on 'major congressional actions' when that link becomes active.

The bill now goes to the President who I expect will sign it. Now that this is over with, perhaps we can have a budget for Fiscal 2011 before Fiscal 2011 ends.

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