Saturday, March 20, 2010

No "deem and pass" in House

This is good news, assuming the Democrats have the votes to pass the Senate bill:

Top Democrats confirmed Saturday that the House would hold separate votes on the Senate healthcare bill and the reconciliation bill, making fixes to it.

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), one of the chief deputy whips, Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), all of whom said that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) won't use the tactic of deem and pass for healthcare reform.

The move effectively kills the "deem and pass" strategy Democrats had been eyeing to make changes to the Senate bill through a rule on the bill, which at the same time would have deemed the original Senate healthcare bill to have passed the House.

The House appears set now to move toward an up-or-down vote on the Senate healthcare bill, as well as a separate, up-or-down vote on the series of changes to that bill. There will still be a vote on the rule, as there always is for a piece of legislation, though it will not package the two bills together.

The "deem and pass" tactic -- it's a legitimate legislative procedure, not some trick -- seemed a bit sketchy to me in this case, a way out for have-their-cake-and-eat-it-too Democrats who want to pass but don't actually want to vote for it, as if somehow voting for it to have deemed to have passed instead of voting directly for it makes any real difference with voters (or with their consciences?).

This can only mean -- can it not? -- that Pelosi, Hoyer, et al. do have the votes, even without a Stupak deal. They'd better have the votes, or the amount of egg on their faces will be enough to feed the entire population of the 48 contiguous states, as well as Saskatchewan and possibly Manitoba.

"We are going to get this done," said President Obama this afternoon.

We're almost there.


Jon Chait doesn't think this was all planned...

But if it was, it worked! Republicans spent a week whipping themselves into a lather over a procedural maneuver they've used many, many times. It wasn't their real objection but they made it seem like the end of the world. "Demon pass," they've been calling it. And now they've wasted several days worth of ginned-up outrage.

This whole prolonged drama has made the Republicans look bad, really bad, but look for the manufactured outrage to continue indefinitely. It's what they're all about, and it's all they've got.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


  • I have deleted three comments from an "anonymous" Republican troll. The comments were offensive, demeaning, and otherwise completely idiotic. I suppose the imminent passage of an historic health-care reform bill is sending conservatives into spasms of denial and bigoted outrage.

    We all know what they're about, and I'll have none of it here.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 1:21 AM  

  • Right wing politics is all about giving such hateful people support and courage and a purpose. It's the same successful vehicle every tyrant in history hose rode in on.

    Thanks for tossing the bums out.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:42 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home