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.
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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.