Republican senators left a White House meeting Monday “feeling frustrated” after a conversation on the American Health Care Act.
The senators were reportedly told that the bill will be passed by the House of Representatives and sent to the Senate as-is.
“Most of the senators there were frustrated because the [White House] basically communicated negotiations were over and that the bill would be forced on the Senate as is,” an aide said.
The bill isn’t being forced on the senate at all. It is going through the House where it may be amended and then be voted upon. If it passes the house, it will be sent to the senate for their consideration.
The senate can pass the bill as is or offer amendments to change the bill. If any changes are made it goes to a conference committee to resolve the differences between the house and senate versions. Both houses then vote on the resulting legislation.
It is unclear why this is news to the “GOP senators” that were so “frustrated.” Perhaps it has been so long since anything passed in regular order that they just forgot how the process works.
For a quick reminder, we point the distinguished members to a congressional website that describes the process:
After a measure passes in the House, it goes to the Senate for consideration. A bill must pass both bodies in the same form before it can be presented to the President for signature into law.
If the Senate changes the language of the measure, it must return to the House for concurrence or additional changes. This back-and-forth negotiation may occur on the House floor, with the House accepting or rejecting Senate amendments or complete Senate text. Often a conference committee will be appointed with both House and Senate members. This group will resolve the differences in committee and report the identical measure back to both bodies for a vote. Conference committees also issue reports outlining the final version of the bill.
If that isn’t plain enough, here is a visual aid that, while from awhile ago, fully explains the process in terms even a senator may understand.