House Speaker John Boehner is still floundering, trying to keep his gavel no matter what the cost, and at this hour "no matter what" appears to be screwing over staff.
Republicans have dropped a provision that would have repealed a tax on medical devices. Earlier Tuesday, a senior GOP aide was touting it as a common-sense change that the White House and Democratic Senate should accept. They have also dropped a provision that would’ve required the Department of Health and Human Services to verify the income of individuals who receive subsidies under Obamacare.Because, supposedly, taking away health insurance subsidies for staff is the only way to get 218 Republican votes. Except, it's not clear that this plan has the votes, either, according to one Republican.
In addition, Republicans are including the so-called Vitter amendment, which cancels health-insurance subsidies for Capitol Hill staffers in addition to members of Congress, the president, vice president and the White House cabinet.
To make it all even better, the Congressional Budget Office says that it will increase the cost of health exchange subsidies by $530 million over 10 years, because when they take away the employer contribution, many congressional staffers would then be eligible for tax subsidies. Brilliant.