From NBC's Shawna Thomas
The House is addressing multiple health-care issues today -- changing an IRS reporting requirement in the health-care law and abortion.
The House Judiciary Committee is currently marking up Rep. Chris Smith's (R-NJ) controversial bill that strengthens current laws that prohibit the use of federal funds to obtain an abortion. If it gets passed out of committee, this could pave the way for it to come to the House floor in the next few weeks for what could be a contentious debate. Most Democrats maintain that the Hyde Amendment codifies the prohibition of federal spending for abortions and many on the GOP side say that it doesn't go far enough.
Second, the House floor is close to voting on a bill that would repeal a piece of the health-care law that members on both sides, including President Obama, dislike. The provision creates new 1099 reporting requirements for small businesses that many see as creating a needless paperwork burden. The Senate, when debating the full repeal of the health-care law last month, overwhelming passed an amendment to do away with this specific part.
In theory, this effort should have bipartisan, bicameral support. However, Democrats in both the House, Senate and White House do not agree with how the Republicans are going to deal with the cost of this law. The Joint Committee on Taxation reported that enactment of this bill would reduce revenues by about $22 billion and the way the GOP found the money to pay for that is by making some individuals, after 2014, repay back some of the health-care assistance credits they've received from the government. The Democrats don't agree with that strategy, so many will likely vote against the bill. But Republicans point out that over the next decade the the committee on taxation says the bill would reduce the deficit.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) discussed the differences in the Senate and House versions of this bill today saying, “We absolutely want to work with the Senate to get this addressed as early as possible.”
*** UPDATE *** The House voted to repeal the 1099 requirement within the health-care law with a vote of 314 to 112 -- 76 Democrats joined with the Republicans to move this bill to the Senate side. It is doubtful the Senate will pass the bill in its current form.
As for the "The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," the House Judiciary Committee voted to send the bill to the full House for a vote. The Committee amended one of the more controversial parts of the bill that dealt with exceptions to the law. The bill originally stated that the exception was only applicable in cases of "forcible rape" and incest with minors. This language was changed back to the Hyde Amendment wording which provides exceptions for all cases of rape and incest.