US House speaker says will send health bill to Senate in weeks

Virginia Carter
May 20, 2017

Sen. Jim Denning, center, tells the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance that a surcharge on utility bills is needed to fund an increase in education funding because sales tax revenues that go into the state general fund have been declining, mainly due to increased online shopping.

The timing issues are real.

There's already talk of sending the new measure directly to a vote in the full Senate without committee hearings, if leaders can gather the 50 Republican votes - plus Vice President Mike Pence - needed to muscle it through.

The governor vetoed a similar bill in February. If they did vote for the second version, they'd be blasted for voting for a world-historically toxic bill twice.

"Every school child knows that when you pass a bill in the House, you send it to the Senate", said Louise Slaughter, the ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee.

Conservative senators are seeking an immediate roll back of the federal money granted to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion program, under the rationale that serious cuts to the program's funding would force states to make prudent decisions regarding how they choose to spend Medicare funds.

That is now under discussion, Johnson says. "We're busy doing our work".

The House passed a bill earlier this week to impose the state's 6.5 percent sales tax on a few services that aren't taxed now, such as towing, pet boarding and overdue bill collecting.

A total rollback of the tax cuts would raise an estimated $1.4 billion over two years.

Ryan said in a radio interview that the delay was "out of an abundance of caution" until the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases its findings on the legislation's costs and its impact on health insurance coverage.

Their plan narrowly passed the House on May 4 despite clashes within the Republican Party between hard-line and more moderate members.

By afternoon the pace slowed considerably.

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Also Thursday, the House passed the governor's bill that would allow the furlough of state employees in the event of a partial government shutdown if a budget is not enacted by July 1 (House Bill 106).

But other senior Republicans weren't aware that leaders had been holding onto the bill. "There will be different ideas coming in from different directions but eventually hopefully we'll be able to distill all those and come up with something that can get 51 [votes] in the Senate".

The group made no final decisions, and it's unclear whether action to prop up the ACA exchanges would be considered as standalone legislation, or as part of the chamber's Obamacare replacement bill.

"House Republicans, listen to this", Justice said. Residential customers would pay $2.25 per month on each bill and commercial customers $10 a month.

The revised proposal, which Denning says is fairer to consumers, would add $2.25 to residential bills only, enough to generate $150 million a year. "And as we hear it today, everybody has a reason that they should keep their exemption", Williams said.

"I'm very concerned about the unknown repercussions we might be getting into", Holland said.

She acknowledged she is asking lawmakers to do a hard thing, but she said sales tax exemptions have continued to increase.

Franco said that she also expects passage of the transportation networking company bill, which would eliminate municipal regulations for companies like Uber and Lyft.

Irene Hoheusle, with Account Recovery Specialists - a collection agency based in Dodge City, Garden City and Wichita - called the bill potentially devastating.

But Holland, who owns an information technology business, voiced concerns over the implementation of the bill and unknown effects.

Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, said he is interested in reducing the food sales tax.

Other reports by BadHub

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