June 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week: House Medical-device taxes. Voting 270-146, the House on Thursday passed a Republican bill (HR 436) to repeal a 2.3 percent excise tax that the 2010 health law would levy on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices starting in 2013. The tax would raise about $30 billion over 10 years. This bill also would remove the health law's ban on using health savings accounts to pay for over-the-counter drugs.
November 17, 2014 |
THE SUPREME Court's surprising decision last week to hear a new challenge to the Affordable Care Act has once again focused attention on Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the deciding vote in a 2012 decision that saved Obamacare from being declared unconstitutional. Many court watchers expect that he will once again be the swing vote in deciding a case crucial to the health-care law, this one involving questions about who qualifies for subsidies under the law. But Roberts' vote in a recent voting-rights case suggests he might not step in to save the health law this time.
October 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach of Chester County became the latest local Republican to break with House conservatives Wednesday, calling for a "clean" spending bill to reopen the federal government. Gerlach, who accompanied his statement with eye-opening statistics about the tenor of messages from his constituents, is the fifth Republican from the moderate Philadelphia suburbs to part ways with the GOP's House leadership in the ongoing fight over government spending and President Obama's sweeping health-care law. "It is time for Congress to vote on a budget bill that gets the government back to work providing all of the services already paid for by the hardworking taxpayers in my district and across the country," Gerlach's statement said.
October 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Philadelphia-area lawmakers reflected the national political divide Monday night as the federal government skidded into a shutdown: split along clear party lines. While one area Republican, U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent of Allentown, made a high-profile push to end the latest fiscal skirmish with a government funding bill that would not make any changes to the Affordable Care Act - a condition Democrats have demanded - he could not rally other moderates to join him. Instead, all other local House Republicans, including many who represent districts that President Obama either won or narrowly lost a year ago, voted with the rest of their caucus to fund the government, but only if Democrats accepted a new set of proposed changes to the president's signature health-care law. By 9 p.m. Monday, the House had passed two new plans, and a third vote was expected shortly after midnight.
September 29, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In a high-profile moment fraught with political implications, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) voted Friday to block a spending bill needed to keep the government running, prompting Democratic attacks that painted him as "extreme. " Toomey, a Democratic target in a state that tilted blue last year, sided with GOP hard-liners in a key procedural vote that split the party between its establishment leaders and rising stars of the right. He joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas)
April 4, 2011
U.S. appeals health-law ruling CHICAGO - The Obama administration asked the U.S. appellate court in Atlanta to reverse a ruling by a federal judge in Florida that struck down health-care legislation because it would require almost every American buy health insurance. It asked the court to reverse the Jan. 31 ruling by U.S. District Judge C. Roger Vinson in Pensacola, in a suit filed by 26 states, including Pennsylvania, that the insurance mandate set to take effect in 2014 exceeds Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce.
October 31, 2010
The choices Tuesday will shape policies in Harrisburg, Trenton, and Washington. Voters should focus on candidates with experience, independence, and integrity. Here's a recap of The Inquirer's endorsements: The race for Pennsylvania governor boasts a candidate with the experience and track record needed to run a complex bureaucracy. As Allegheny County chief executive, Democrat DAN ONORATO confronted budget deficits and demonstrated an ability to shrink a bloated bureaucracy.
July 1, 2012
One for the history books One useful thing about the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Obamacare is that it clarifies and accentuates the importance of November's election ("Health law upheld," Friday). If you think Obamacare is another entitlement America can't afford, you may vote for Mitt Romney, who has promised to repeal it. If you think the act's benefits are worth their costs, you may vote to reelect President Obama. Considering the outsize role personality and innuendo play in politics, it's heartening that this decision offers the nation a stark ideological contrast.