House Will Not Move to Defund Health Care Reform in 2011 Budget

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The House GOP leadership has allowed a rare open amendment process to the FY2011 budget on the floor this week.  Thus far 403 amendments totaling 459 pages have been filed with more to come. Most of the Democratic amendments will try and reinstate many of the $100 billion in cuts. Many of the Republican Study Committee amendments will try and deepen those cuts.

A selection of those that have been filed:

-Defund Planned Parenthood

-Defund all travel for the secretaries of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development

-Block any improvements to the White House

-Block foreign aid to Saudi Arabia, Russia and China

-Block foreign aid to Israel, Jordan and Egypt

-Block the Army Corps of Engineers from working on beach replenishment projects

-Block money for international climate change talks

-Prevent the military from advertising at Nascar races

-Limit to $200 million the amount that is spent annually on military bands

-Block pay rises for federal employees

-Stop all payments to the United Nations

-Block legal fees in the case of the United States v. The State of Arizona and Janice K. Brewer

-Strip money from the census and give it to the COPS program, which is getting slashed in this budget

But some of the most controversial items may get cut. There is a rule that amendments to spending bills must not “legislate.” Last night the Republicans on the Rules Committee reluctantly rejected Iowa Republican Steve King’s amendment to defund health care reform. “It is an abomination that this bill was passed,” Rep. Virginia Fox, a North Carolina Republican, said according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram. But, “you are asking us to change the rules here in the Rules Committee… What that does is open us up to the same accusations that were made of our colleagues across the aisle over the last four years in terms of them not being fair to us.” Which means that Colorado Freshman Cory Gardner’s amendment to bar federal employees from working on the health care exchanges created by the bill will also likely be struck down. Other amendments that also could fall in the realm of “legislating”:

-Prohibit body scanner use by the Transportation Security Administration

-Block implementation of the FCC’s Net Neutrality ruling

-Prevent the EPA from implementing cap and trade/climate change rules