One veteran GOP aide said part of the problem is that the bill is broad enough that it allows opponents to target different constituencies within the GOP for lobbying, pressing their case on social issues with conservatives such as Foxx while targeting fiscal conservatives on the bill’s costs. “The longer it hangs out there, the more they can pick off,” the aide said.
Even if House Republicans manage to pass the bill by Friday, it faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Sen. Tom Coburn has consistently opposed the fee provisions in the bill, insisting that the PTO be given full control of them.
Given his use of the chamber’s rules to tie legislation in knots, Senate GOP aides predicted the Oklahoma Republican could block the measure if it arrives with the House language intact.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.