Democrats and Republicans will begin considering amendments to far-reaching health care legislation on the Senate floor momentarily. This process will go on for weeks, and involve hundreds of proposed changes. But to touch things off, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will likely introduce Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) who will offer a women’s preventive health care amendment, according to a Senate Democratic aide–the first amendment of the process.
By contrast, the first Republican amendment will come from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who will propose that the bill be recommitted to the Finance Committee, which would be instructed to strip it of its Medicare cuts. At a 60 vote threshold, the amendment won’t pass, but if it did, it would likely be the end of health care reform this Congress.
In other words, we’re dealing with two very different species of amendments.