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: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Rules-Committee-meeting-descends-into-chaos-88725962.html
I would add that the desperate Dems also ran smack into the Constitution and public outrage.
Expect that to continue.