Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
February 7, 2024

After a day of chaos that saw House Republican leadership lose two embarrassing votes on the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, and a stand alone bill for aid to Israel, plus a federal appeals court rejecting former President Donald J. Trump’s claim that he was immune from prosecution on charges of plotting to subvert the results of the 2020 election, ruling that he must go to trial on a criminal indictment accusing him of seeking to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden, the House is wrapping up work for the week today.  Before leaving town until next Tuesday, February 13th, the House passed the Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act, HR 485, 211 to 208, along party lines. It would prohibit all federal healthcare payers from using quality-adjusted life years, or QALYs, and other similar measures to determine patient coverage.

The Senate is set to take up a key vote this afternoon on the long-anticipated border deal (TEXT) as part of a national security supplemental funding package that will likely come up short on support after far-reaching Republican opposition became clear quickly after its release this week.  Although Senate Republicans appeared resigned to oppose the procedural vote to open debate, with the conference in large part either opposing the border deal released on Sunday or seeking more time to review it, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) planned to forge ahead with the vote on Wednesday.  However, Leader Schumer told Senate Democrats he plans to force a second vote Wednesday on an Israel and Ukraine aid package stripped of border security provisions once the previous vote fails.  If it gets at least 60 votes, the procedural motion Wednesday afternoon would tee up a vote later this week on the pared-down foreign aid package, which includes assistance to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.  The vote on whether to take up a motion to proceed to the narrower aid package is likely to happen shortly after the first procedural vote on the broader border and aid bill Wednesday afternoon fails.  The Senate is scheduled to remain in session through the rest of the week.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.