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Opinion
Jonathan Bernstein

The House Republican Mess

The House is dysfunctional both by accident and design.
We voted without you. For your own good. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg
We voted without you. For your own good. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Did you see what happened yesterday in the House of Representatives? Yup, another example of a dysfunctional Republican Party.

Every year, Congress has to pass a "doc fix" because Medicare reform back in the 1990s set the reimbursement rate for doctors too low. The House this year had been working on a permanent fix, but failed to find budget offsets that Republicans could agree on. Then it failed to find offsets even to pay for a one-year fix. So Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership held an unannounced voice vote on a one-year fix -- with no means of paying for it. Under House rules, it doesn't take many people to demand a recorded vote, but opponents either weren't on the floor or didn't notice, so the bill passed.