This week congressional floor action on health care is slow. All eyes are focused on the upcoming Republican leadership races after current Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that he will resign from Congress at the end of the month. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is the current front runner to win the speaker post, however newcomer to the race, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is gaining support. The Republican speaker vote will take place Thursday, and the full House vote, which includes both Republicans and Democrats and requires 218 votes to win, will take place next month.
Votes on other leadership posts – majority leader and majority whip – have been postponed until Oct. 29. Reps. Tom Price (R-GA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) are both vying for posts.
In committee business, on Thursday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing on drug abuse focusing on seven related bills. Last week House committees successfully passed budget reconciliation legislation that would effectively draw back several major components of the Affordable Care Act, along with other efforts. The procedural tactic would allow the House to send the measure to the Senate with only 51 votes needed to go the president’s desk. President Obama is expected to veto the proposal should it get to his desk.