GREAT AMENDMENT HUNT CLARIFICATION.

I elided this earlier, but what the Senate passed last night were not binding amendments. They were, in general, instructions to conferees. Put simply, the Senate is building its budget. The House is building its budget. Eventually, representatives from both bodies will have to go to conference and make the two budgets the same. When that happens, a lot of extraneous elements from both budgets will be thrown out. For that reason, amendments passed during this phase act as suggestions to those conferees. Which doesn't mean they're not worth ferreting out: Every passed amendment is saying that this is what the budget should look like. It may be the case that Henry Waxman refuses to play along. Or it may be the case that their instructions are heeded by the conferees. So people should keep digging into the midnights amendments and posting their findings in comments.

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