General Information

Boehner Plan Passes the House

By a vote of 218-210, the House has passed Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan for temporarily raising the debt ceiling and cutting spending. The vote was strictly along party lines — no Democrats voted for it, and 22 Republicans voted against it. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) was the only California representative to vote against the bill.

Next steps include a Senate vote on a competing plan developed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The Senate is currently debating Reid’s plan and expected to vote early Sunday morning, July 31. It will also vote on the Boehner plan, which is not expected to pass (53 Senators have signed a letter saying they will vote no).

Neither the Boehner or Reid plan contains Medicare or Medicaid cuts for hospitals — clearly a victory for hospitals. However, because the Boehner plan is a temporary extension and relies on caps and a commission to make required cuts, CHA expects the hospital fight to continue if those components are part of the final package. In addition, to secure passage after the bill had to be pulled last night, the Speaker added a requirement that both the House and Senate had to pass a constitutional amendment to balance the budget before another debt ceiling is raised.

Over the weekend, House and Senate leaders will try to work on a compromise. Many people believe a compromise plan could get through the House with significant Democratic support, which would leave the House Republicans largely out of the bargain. However, the situation remains difficult to predict.