Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to use a legislative trick that would allow rank-and-file Democrats to vote for the health care bill without really voting for the health care bill.
House Minority Leader John Boehner called it “the ultimate in Washington power grabs.”
House Republicans plan to introduce a resolution that would require an “up-or-down” vote in the House on the Senate-approved health care plan, to ensure everyone goes on the record as for or against the bill.
But Pelosi and Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, are cooking up a plan to pass the original health bill from the Senate side without forcing rank-and-file Democrats to technically go on record in support of it.
House Democrats don’t want to cast a vote in favor of the Senate bill, which they oppose for numerous reasons.
Under Pelosi tactic, known as a “self-executing rule, the House could simultaneously approve the Senate version of the bill while voting on the package of changes. This would “deem” the Senate bill passed, though not directly show members voting in favor of passage.
Pelosi told liberal bloggers Monday that “nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill,” and so she’s strongly considering the non-vote vote.
The consideration of the “self-executing rule” comes after Democrats moved to consider the package of changes under rules that would allow the Senate to pass the bill with just 51 votes, as opposed to the usual 60.
“Anyone who believes they can send this bill to the president without being tarred by it is delusional,” McConnell said Tuesday. “Anyone who endorses this strategy will be forever remembered for trying to claim they didn’t vote for something they did. It will go down as one of the most extraordinary legislative sleights of hand in history.”
House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Ind., called the option “a betrayal of the commitment of every member of this Congress to the American people.”
Boehner said in a written statement that Democrats are considering a “legislative ploy that lets Democrats defy the will of the American people while attempting to eliminate any trace of actually doing so.
“It shows you just how controversial this government takeover of health care has become that it takes a controversial maneuver just to vote on it,” Boehner said.
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