The Morning Browse: Health Care Passes; Immigration March; Military Prisons

By Seth Freed Wessler Mar 22, 2010

The House passed an historic health care reform bill and sent it to President Obama last night. The bill comes after months of protracted partisan struggle and passed only after Obama promised an executive order firming up restrictions on the use of federal healthcare dollars for abortion access. Tea Baggers protested health care reform over the weekend, calling for the bills demise and yelling homophobic and racist slurs at Black and gay Congressional Democrats. Meanwhile, Progressive Caucus leader Lynn Woolsey promised to introduce public option legislation as soon as Obama signs the new bill. Tucked neatly into the health care bill, the House on Sunday approved legislation to reform federal student loan programs. Hundreds of thousands marched in Washington yesterday, calling on the Obama administration to move on an immigration reform bill. Marchers demanded a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants and an end to draconian enforcement tactics. Senate Republicans are waging an attack this week on Democrat’s financial regulation bill. The bill, which Senate Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd rolled out last week, was already without much bite. The Republican attack threatens to make it fully toothless. Republican Senators are preparing to go on the offensive against Attorney General Eric Holder tomorrow when he appears before the Judiciary Committee. The attacks, based on Holders failure to release relevant documents during his confirmation hearings last year, are seen as an attempt to disrupt his efforts to try terrorism suspects in civilian courts. Meanwhile, the L.A. Times reports that the U.S. may house terrorism suspects in a jail on the Bagram military base in Afghanistan. The jail would open even as the administration promises to close Guantanamo.