House Drops Un-Constitutional “Deem and Pass”, Rules Committee in Chaos

One victory for our side.

House Democrats on Saturday decided against using a controversial tactic to pass the Senate’s version of the health care bill without an actual vote.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD., said he believes Democrats have enough votes to pass the legislation.

The decision capped an ongoing discussion on whether to use a so-called “deem and pass” strategy that would allow House members to approve the Senate version of health care bill without an actual vote before taking up a second “fix-it” resolution, known as reconciliation.

The stage is now set for three big votes on Sunday: the first to bring the “fix-it” bill to the House floor. The second on the bill. Then the final vote would be on the Senate bill itself.

If the final bill passes the House, the Senate plans to take it up next week.

Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., cheered the decision by Democrats to abandon “deem and pass,”calling it a sign that Democrats are buckling under pressure.

“In the words of Ronald Reagan, ‘they may not have seen the light, but they certainly felt the heat,” he said in a written statement.

Via Byron York:

At the House Rules Committee meeting, Democrats desperate to pass their national health care plan are running into the barrier of basic civics. Here is the problem: The Senate has passed its HCR bill. If the House passes the same bill, it goes on to the president; once he signs it, the bill becomes law. But House Democrats, when they vote for the Senate bill using the “Deem & Pass” dodge, also want to simultaneously pass a package of amendments to the law. Except HCR will not, at that point, be law. It will only become law when the president signs it. Congress can amend the law — it does so all the time — but can it amend something that isn’t law?

Which is where Democrats are tripping up. Passage of their HCR proposal should be very simple: Senate passes it, House passes it, president signs it. But House Democrats are terrified of voting for the unpopular bill, so they hope to pass it by “Deem & Pass,” in which they will vote, not for the bill, but for a rule that both deems the Senate bill to have passed and, in the same vote, passes the package of amendments. So House Democrats will have two fig leaves: 1) they didn’t vote directly for the Senate bill, and 2) they voted to simultaneously amend — to “fix” — the Senate bill.

The problem is the sequence.
More here:

I would add that the desperate Dems also ran smack into the Constitution and public outrage.
Expect that to continue.

14 thoughts on “House Drops Un-Constitutional “Deem and Pass”, Rules Committee in Chaos”

  1. The Center Square

    I do know what you meant. And I know that more people oppose this bill than favor it. That’s a plain fact, and I fully respect that majority view.

    All I was asking in return is that you drop the argument that the opposition is, well, “universal.” That’s untrue, and disrespectful to the +/- 40% who DO favor it, and to the additional 10% – 20% who favored it as recently as last summer.

    When the exaggerated rhetoric gets cleared away, then people can discuss the actual consequences of the healthcare reform act.


    1. Steve,

      What’s disrespectful is the way Obama and his political and MSM myrmidons spew “racist, redneck, and teabagger”, at the 55%+ opposition.
      There’s nothing exaggerated about the consequence of government-contolled health care.


      SFC MAC

    1. Steve,
      Smarty pants. You know what I meant.

      The bulk of the American people made it clear that we do not want this. We know what it is. We’ve seen it applied in Europe and Canada with disastrous results.

      Judging by the reaction to Obama’s “I’m signing this bill whether America likes it or not” hubris, he’ll be lucky if there isn’t another Revolution to match the one in 1776.

      SFC MAC

  2. The Center Square

    Since you and I seem to spar without resolution, I am going to take a different approach.

    Firstly, I COMPLETELY respect and appreciate your opposition to the healthcare reform bill. I am not here to talk you into supporting the bill — I don’t have that magic bullet! In fact, I share many of your concerns.

    However, I believe that civil debate demands of us a scrupulous adherence to logic to objective facts and reason. As the saying goes, we are entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. So let’s try to pin down the known facts:

    #1 TRUE or FALSE?: Somewhere between 30% and 40% of Americans currently support the healthcare bill.
    #2 TRUE or FALSE? — if you agree that #1 is true: If 30% to 40% of Americans support the healthcare bill, then opposition to the bill cannot be “universal.”
    #3 TRUE or FALSE?: Opinion polls showed a majority of Americans in support of the healthcare bill, until it fell underwater in about June/July 2009.

    What do you think? Are any of those statements FALSE?

    Again, I’m all for you registering your opposition — which has great merit. I just think we should be challenged to do so within the boundaries of fact and reason. In fact, advancing non-factual opposition to the healthcare bill undermines one’s presentation of the many legitimate problems of the bill.

    1. Steve,

      1. 55% of Americans oppose it. Expect that number to grow.

      2. What do you consider universal, or for that matter a majority? I’d say the outrage, protests, and the notable difference between the two percentages, indictate universal discontent.

      3. Do you know why it fell? People actually started to read and pay attention to what was in the bills.

      All the facts I need in oppositon to the ObamaCrare bill are contained in the bill itself.

      SFC MAC

  3. The Center Square

    Re-read the numbers; I got them right the first time. You know that different polls show different numbers, right? *lol*. Anyway, I know that more people oppose the reform legislation than favor it. I was contending against the over-reaching statement that “The only ones who don’t think it’s bad are the ruling Dems.” Hardly. Even the least favorable polling, extrapolated to the population, shows 100+ million Americans in support even right now. There is not basis for the notion that opposition is universal, if that was your thought.

    And of course I realize that you and others were opposed to Obama, and this in particular, dating back to the campaign. Again, though, that’s not point. My point is that opinion has shifted over time, and could easily shift again — not that it definitely will happen, but it could. So the question is, are those who now use the argument that public opinion runs against the bill prepared to accept that same argument in reverse if opinion swings back the other way? And likewise, those who argue now that public opinion does not matter should remain intellectually consistent and not defend the act on the basis of its popularity if polling results do reverse. Otherwise, it’s just the same old game of determining one’s position first, and then selectively using facts to support it.

    And, yes, I read the entire bill.

    1. Steve,

      The common denominator: The poll numbers show consistent anger and opposition to ObamaCare. The basis for opposition isn’t “universal”? Steve, when you make a statement like that, it’s difficult to hold on to what little credibility you have. Don’t kid yourself.
      Secondly, don’t bet your business on shifting opinion over this. The Dems have shredded the Constitution and spit in the face of the American people. The effect of this socialist monstrosity is already being felt. It will only get worse unless or until it’s repealed.

      “….it’s just the same old game of determining one’s position first, and then selectively using facts to support it.”

      Isn’t that the tactic Dems used to pass ObamaCare? Well, that and bribery, payoffs, and kickbacks.

      If you read the entire bill, then you should know better.

      SFC MAC

  4. The Center Square

    “The only ones who don’t think it’s bad are the ruling Dems.” Let’s correct the record. The most recent poll from Rasmussen showed 53% opposed and 43% in favor. Yes, more opposition than support, but let’s pretend there is universal opposition.

    And let’s not forget that just 17 months ago, our nation elected a super-majority of Democrats on the very idea that they would enact such programs, among other things. Relying on the argument that the public opposes this legislation is risky for opponents, because such opposition could erode as quickly as it arrived. Then opponents will be back to arguing against the plan on its merits, which is the right place for the debate to be.

    Again, though, I don’t think my point is coming through. It’s a small point. For opponents, the way the House finally did pass the legislation — a straight up or down vote — is bad news. There can be no doubt that Congress followed the correct constitutional protocol. If they had used the deem-and-pass method, there would have been an obvious constitutional violation, and the bill would almost certainly have been overturned in the courts. That would have been a victory for opponents of the bill. See what I mean?

    1. Steve,
      You need to re-check those numbers.

      A majority of Americans have a dim view of the sweeping health care bill passed by the House, saying it gives Washington too much clout and won’t do much to reduce their own health care costs or federal deficits, according to a new poll released Monday.

      A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found that 59 percent of those surveyed opposed the bill, and 39 percent favored it. All of the interviews were conducted before the House voted Sunday night, but the contents of the bill were widely known.

      In addition, 56 percent said the bill gives the government too much involvement in health care; 28 percent said it gives the government the proper role and 16 percent said it leaves Washington with an inadequate role.

      On the question of costs, 62 percent said the bill increases the amount of money they personally spend on health care; 21 percent said their costs would remain the same and 16 percent said they would decrease.

      Your comment:

      And let’s not forget that just 17 months ago, our nation elected a super-majority of Democrats on the very idea that they would enact such programs, among other things.

      Leaves out those of us who saw what was coming and did not vote for the socialist nightmare that will be forced on this country. Many Obamabots who thought they were getting some kind of utopia, have awakened to a very unpleasant reality. It’s the “be careful what you wish for” karma, in spades.
      Americans are angry. November is coming. The Dem “super majority” will be ousted. Rest assured the first priority is to get that piece of shit legislation repealed, if it passes. This is far from over. They still have to vote on the bill itself. What transpired was just an “up or down vote” to move forward.

      Steve, READ THE BILL. It’s here:

      Many things about ObamaCare are unconstitutional, not just the Dems attempt at a ram-rod process.

      If this bill makes it to Obama’s desk, the Supreme Court awaits.

      SFC MAC

  5. The Center Square

    If people think this is a bad law, then deem-and-pass would have been a good thing — because then the courts would have overturned it. Once the House opted not to go that route, opponents were deprived of that mechanism to kill the legislation. That’s what I was saying.

    1. Steve,
      Think about this mechanism: The constitutionalty (or lack thereof) of ObamaCare itself. Just because this vote moves the bill to another round of voting, does not mean it cannot be fought or killed. If people thought it was a bad law?? The only ones who don’t think it’s bad are the ruling Dems. If this bad legislation makes it into law, look for a Supreme Court overturn.

      SFC MAC

  6. The Center Square

    Isn’t the House abandoning deem-and-pass a setback for those against healthcare reform? It seems that those who dislike this bill would be well served if the means to pass it is unconstitutional. Then the courts would throw it out. Maybe I’m missing something.

    1. Steve,

      Have you read the Constitution? Have you bothered to read any of the bills???? Besides, it not just the means, it’s the substance. It’s the egregious legislation that’s in this bill that is unconstitutional, as well. You missed the part about the IRS power-expansion. That agency would use even more jack-booted methods to enforce compliance of unwanted government-controlled healthcare. If you don’t buy into it, you’ll get a stiff fine and penalities. It’s the outrageous tax increases as well. If this tyranny becomes law, 37 states are already expected to sue. You can also anticipate a major argument in front of the Supreme Court.

      Pay attention, Steve. You may as well be awake to watch as your rights and freedoms are infringed upon.

      SFC MAC

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