Republicans in the Texas House have tightened the rules on an emergency spending bill for Medicaid that will make Democrats wait on trying to force a quick vote on public school funding.
The rule overwhelmingly passed Thursday means that a $4.8 billion bill the House will likely take up next week will stay focused on paying a Medicaid hole.
Although the rule is not unusual, the vote set off one of the biggest debates on the House floor yet this session.
Democrats want to force Republicans to vote on restoring $5.4 billion in public education spending that was slashed in 2011. Republican Rep. Jim Pitts, the chief budget-writer in the House, says the state must pay the Medicaid bill quickly because of a March deadline.
The rule passed 107-36.