A top Senate Republican this week lifted his hold on the confirmation process for President Obama’s pick to head the Office of Personnel Management, according to a spokesman for the lawmaker.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) decided to allow the full Senate vote on nominee Katherine Archuleta because OPM issued proposed rules for how the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, will affect health coverage for Capitol Hill staffers.
A provision in the law bars legislative employees from participating in the federal-worker health plan. That amendment, added by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), will essentially force congressional staffers to buy health coverage on the insurance exchanges forming under Obamacare.
Legislative workers had raised concerns that they would have to handle the full costs of coverage on their own, but OPM’s draft rules would allow them to receive employer contributions.
As for Archuleta, she served as national political director of Obama’s 2012 campaign and as a key organizer for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Her work in the government includes serving as chief of staff to former Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, as senior policy adviser for the city of Denver and as chief of staff to former Transportation Secretary Federico F. Peña during the latter years of the Clinton administration.
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