So the Senate passed their fucking scam artist neofeudalism bill. This is what happens to the bill in order for it to become law, and possible points where we can raise hell and (desperately) try to make a difference:
Key differences in the House and Senate bills:
- Senate bill repeals the individual mandate, the House does not.
- The House bill doesn’t pass the test that the Senate bill needs to fall into the “Byrd” rule and keep the deficit in check. Basically, the Senate wants it to be filibuster-proof and be able to pass with 51 votes, and so the House bill, as is, cannot stand.
- Senate bill has many provisions that will expire because they have to fall under the Senate’s reconciliation rules in order to pass. House’s are permanent.
- This part I don’t really understand but it’s a thing: Pass-through businesses are handled very differently in both bills, and it was a major point of contention in the Senate bill that almost killed it.
- There are lots of other differences that are probably able to be compromised on, but still take time to examine.
- Read more here and here.
What happens to the bill next:
- In a normal, non-bizarro world, the bill would go to conference. The main problem with this (for the Republicans who want to pass the bill) is that it takes time to appoint the committee, and everyone to hammer out the compromises, and then it has to go back to BOTH chambers for a vote. Time is the Republicans’ enemy right now. It will not only open the bill up to actual scrutiny, but it will encroach upon their impending deadline to fund the government to avoid a shut down (which is Dec. 8).
- It’s also possible the House will vote on the Senate bill as is. This is riskier for the Republicans, because there are some very fundamental differences between the House’s version and the Senate version and there are House Republicans who might reject it. However, it’s possible they all want it to pass so desperately they’ll do anything.
I am personally banking on them going the quick-and-dirty-straight-to-vote route, but I am optimistic that the House has enough insane people who never compromise on anything. If they are choosing method #2, it will look like Paul Ryan and Steve Scalise doing a lot of elbow rubbing all weekend. It’s very possible we will not know which direction they choose until they are already underway.
What the fuck can we do:
Not much more than we have been, but we can still keep on. At least we can switch to House members for a while (and they are all up for re-election in 2018).
- Find and pressure Republican House members who are facing competitive elections next year that you have a connection to. Swing Left is a good resource for this. Of those, we want to look for their rep’s statements to find out: 1) Who fought against the Individual Mandate repeal in the House version. 2) Whose district has a lot of young people. 3) Whose district has a lot of people on Medicaid.
- Put pressure on your Democratic House members too - they may be able to do some convincing of other reps from their state.
- The House bill passed with 227 Republican votes. This means 13 Republicans voted against it or did not vote. We need to put pressure on them to also not vote for this one. They are listed here. If we can get all of those to do the same again, we only need ten more to oppose the Senate bill or the conference bill (whatever they end up voting on).
- I don’t like this one at all, but the Democrats are in a position to make some demands if the Republicans want to keep the government running (which they do, since they’ll likely shoulder the blame if it shuts down). Trump is under the impression it will help him politically if it shuts down, but he is senile and doesn’t know what he’s saying so don’t worry about him.
- If the bill ends up going through committee, we should watch for the changes that might piss off some Senators, since it was SO close in the Senate. But we won’t know who to target or what to say to them until that happens and someone basically leaks the info to us.
My husband and I are both small business owners (mine is much smaller than his haha), and we are fucking terrified about this. I am still trying to figure out what our recourse might be if this passes but we take back some of Congress (and eventually the White House). Like, if elections go our way, can we just REDO this? I dunno.