Scott Brown

National Journal
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Feb. 4, 2013, 10:16 a.m.

A pre-lunch up­date from the re­port­ers and ed­it­ors of Con­gress­Daily.

SECOND OPIN­ION. Pres­id­ent Obama re­leased his ver­sion of health­care over­haul le­gis­la­tion today that is largely based on a Sen­ate-passed bill but with some changes de­signed to ap­pease House Demo­crats ahead of Thursday’s health sum­mit. The meas­ure ex­tends a spe­cial deal for Neb­raska on Medi­caid ex­pan­sion costs to all states, in­creases the threshold for a tax on high-cost in­sur­ance plans and in­cludes a pro­pos­al to reg­u­late in­sur­ance rates. Seni­or White House of­fi­cials es­tim­ated the changes would in­crease the cost of the $871 bil­lion Sen­ate bill to $950 bil­lion but they in­sisted the new pro­vi­sions are fully off­set. White House spokes­man Dan Pfeif­fer said drafters care­fully con­struc­ted the pro­pos­al in an­ti­cip­a­tion of a Re­pub­lic­an fili­buster at­tempt, pre­sum­ably mean­ing the meas­ure could pass through re­con­cili­ation if ne­ces­sary.

AN OMEN, PER­HAPS. Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Re­id needs at least two Re­pub­lic­an votes to­night to end de­bate on a $15 bil­lion jobs bill, but it isn’t clear he will get them. No Re­pub­lic­ans have com­mit­ted to vot­ing for clo­ture, but some mod­er­ates say they are un­de­cided. But the pro­spect of a jobs bill stalling in an elec­tion year in which angst over un­em­ploy­ment is high begs a vi­tal ques­tion: If a jobs bill can’t get a couple of GOP votes, what can? For the re­cord, Re­pub­lic­ans say they would be happy to help out on this bill — if Re­id would al­low amend­ments.

SOME COUNT MORE THAN OTH­ERS. Not all gov­ernors are cre­ated equal. Obama met with the na­tion’s gov­ernors this morn­ing, but only one of them gets a spe­cial Oval Of­fice audi­ence later today. Obama pushed edu­ca­tion pro­grams to the masses. This af­ter­noon, ac­cord­ing to the White House sched­ule, he’ll meet with Cali­for­nia Gov. Arnold Schwar­zeneg­ger, a Re­pub­lic­an. No word on the agenda, but the term-lim­ited gov­ernor will need a job soon.

For more, see this af­ter­noon’s Con­gress­DailyPM. For break­ing news, see the Con­gress­Daily Web site.

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