Thursday, March 25, 2010

Senate passes reconciliation bill with minor changes

Following nine hours of voting on 29 GOP amendments, the Senate passed the reconciliation package by a final vote of 56 to 43. While Democrats successfully defeated each Republican-proposed amendment, the bill must still be sent back to the House for final consideration due to the removal of two minor provisions that violated budget reconciliation rules. The provisions dealt with Pell grants for low-income college students and do not significantly affect the student loan program or the overall health reform bill. Even though the House passed the reconciliation bill on Sunday, they have to pass it again now that the language has been altered.

According to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the House may take the bill up as soon as Thursday evening. While the reconciliation package does not drastically change the original reform act signed into law on Tuesday, it does alter the funding mechanisms and extends the implementation dates for several key provisions.

Stay tuned as we follow this process and determine how the final legislation will impact you and your business.

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