Sunday, March 21, 2010

Live TV coverage of today's House showdown on health care reform

Following today's talking and voting in the House of Representatives may or may not be something you crave. But anyone who's interested can do it below (or here).

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I see from TPM's Countdown To Reform Wire that "Both parties have called all of their members to the floor during the entirety of the debate." In either house of the US Congress, that's highly unusual.

From Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office: "The Republican Leadership has instructed their Members to remain on the Floor today during debate on Health care Reform. We expect Republican procedural delay tactics during the day. Members' presence is requested on the Floor throughout the day."
Republicans have indeed promised to do whatever they can to stop this health reform package from passing, so if it does clear the House today, then we can expect a climactic extravaganza of obstructionism in the Senate. House rules make obstructionism more difficult, but there are always possibilities. When CNN's Candy Crowley asked Republican Mike Pence what the House Republicans planned to do today, he apparently responded: "Well, stay tuned, Candy. It's going to be an interesting day."

Even for people who aren't fascinated by procedural maneuvers, legislative trench warfare, and the endless repetition of misleading partisan talking-points (all of which, if truth be told, often look pretty dull to outsiders), the final votes will definitely make this a very interesting day.

--Jeff Weintraub