Politics & Government

December 22, 2009

With health care bill all but passed, time for backroom deals

With Senate passage of health-care legislation now virtually certain, Washington lawmakers and interest groups are scrambling to influence one of Congress' most mysterious but most powerful institutions — the conference committee.To most Americans, the conference process is an enigma, rarely taught in history or civics lessons. Even the "School House Rock" classic animated step-by-step primer, "I'm Just a Bill,'' skipped over the conference committee's role.

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