Congress is back in session and the Members have a big day ahead of them tomorrow. There are two noteworthy meetings coming up: the first gathering of the House-Senate committee to agree on a budget for fiscal year 2014 and a hearing where the House Energy and Commerce Committee will question the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Obamacare rollout.
The members on the budget conference committee have already been hard at work preparing for their meeting. It will be open to the press and the public, so we can expect a bit of grandstanding—let’s face it: It’s a lot easier than going into the numbers for the public. But one Senate Republican has already suggested a few details of what might actually happen: they won’t budge on the spending caps or pass tax increases, but are willing to rework the sequesters, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts.
And today, the Senate tried to pass a resolution of disapproval of President Obama’s suspension of the debt limit. Not surprisingly, it failed, with votes falling along party lines.
So what’s Sebelius going to face tomorrow? Roll Call has some potential questions.
HHS Secretary Sebelius might be in for some heat tomorrow, but one of her colleagues, Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, got lucky. Apparently, the Representatives on the House Ways and Means Committee more or less just lobbed bombs at each other, rather than peppering her with tough questions.
When pitching Obamacare, President Obama and Democrats repeatedly offered the the talking point that those who liked their current health insurance would not have to buy a different plan. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer admitted today that this would not be the case for some plans did not meet the minimum standards mandated by the law, thus forcing those plan holders to switch.
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