McConnell Repeal Amendment

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill which would have repealed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed last year. The amendment closely mirrored the repeal bill passed by the House in January. McConnell’s amendment, a largely symbolic attempt, failed by a vote of 47-51. All 47 Senate Republicans supported the amendment while all Democrats opposed it. Senators John Warner (D-VA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) did not vote.

1099 repeal

Last week, the Senate approved a repeal of the 1099 provision originally passed as part of the PPACA. The provision requires businesses to file 1099 forms with the IRS when they purchase $600 or more in goods from another business. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) included the repeal as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. The amendment passed by a vote of 87-17 but the reauthorization bill still must be passed by both the House and Senate before it can be sent to the President for his signature.

PPACA Multistate Lawsuit

Federal Judge Roger Vinson ruled last week that the health care reform law is unconstitutional, stating that the individual mandate “is outside Congress’ Commerce Clause power” and isn’t covered by the Necessary and Proper Clause. Because the various provisions to the law are intertwined, Vinson ruled that the law is void. The ruling is a victory for 26 states which brought the suit and continues a legal process that will likely be elevated to the Supreme Court by next year. The Department of Justice has appealed the ruling. Two previous rulings have upheld the law while Judge Vinson’s ruling is the second of two which have found all or part of it unconstitutional.