It would seem the House was in a bit too much of a hurry last Sunday night. The Senate, working all night long and into the early hours of morning today (Thursday, March 25, 2010,) uncovered at least two procedural issues with the Reconciliation bill that will require that it be sent back to the House yet again, once the Senate is done with their revisions. One of those issues is said to involve changes to the Pell Grant program, an aspect of the education section of the bill.
A fatigued Harry Reid (D-NV) called for the session to come to a close at 2:45 am, shortly after the discovery of those technicalities. They will return to continue work on the bill at 9:45 today, just 7 hours later. It was not clear who noticed the errors.
Though theoretically possible, it seems extremely unlikely that the bill would not be passed by the House on a second vote. Reconciliation passed by a wider margin than the Act itself did. It’s likely that the changes made by the Senate will not be deal-breakers, and the GOP now has one less seat, as one of their Representatives announced his retirement just after the vote on Sunday night. With this latest hiccup, the bill is not likely to be voted upon or signed into law until next week.