Skip to comments.Rules Committee meeting descends into chaos -- "Deem & Pass," attempt
Posted on 03/20/2010 10:29:14 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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. Can the House vote to amend something that isn't the law, as the Senate bill will not be law before the president's signature? The Rules Committee meeting turned into mass confusion when Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman said, "We're not going to 'deem' the bill passed. We're going to pass the Senate bill I would be against the idea of 'deeming' something -- we either pass it or we don't."
To Republican ears, that sounded as if Waxman was speaking out in support of a direct vote on the Senate plan. "I hope we're making news here," said Republican Rep. Joe Barton. If so, Barton added, "Praise the Lord!" Other Democrats jumped in to say that no, there would not be a direct vote on the Senate bill.
Barton then asked whether there would be some period of time between House passage of the Senate bill and House passage of the HCR amendments. During that period of time, the president would sign the Senate HCR bill into law. For the House to amend the HCR law, Barton said, it has to be law, which means the president has to have signed it. "If he doesn't, it ain't a law," Barton said.
Democratic Rep. Sander Levin jumped in. "We're going to be amending the law," he claimed. Waxman added, "We change current law, and the current law will be the Senate bill once it's voted on in the House."
But it won't be law until the president signs it. Obviously, Democrats are performing such strange contortions because many of their members are scared of voting for a bill that will likely mean defeat for them in November. But their attempts to avoid responsibility have created some very basic problems.
I guess they don’t have votes.
As we here at FR having been saying since this sham began.
To me, a vote of yes is grounds for Impeachment.
Live streaming http://www.c-span.org/Watch/C-SPAN2.aspx
Update 3-20, 12:25 PM (from MacAoidh): Byron York tweets that if its a deem and pass vote, Cardozo (one of the two California Democrats who have been supposedly bought off with water for the San Fernando Valley) wont vote for it.
Slaughter, just now said: “waiting on CBO” ???
It really doesn’t matter if they have the votes. They are scared. They have no choice but to pass or deem the senate bill word for word and comma for comma. It must then go to the president as written, he signs it and it is the law. It’s called a rock and a hard place.
Fight Harder...call email fax...now!
They must be reworking the CBO estimate again.
For want of a congress like the one that pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for liberty.
Now we have one that pledges only bribes, kickbacks, and tyranny for our enslavement.
They can’t deem it passed if they dont have the votes.
I am disgusted. I feel betrayed. First we learn that there is no law in effect that requires a presidential candidate to show proof that he is a natural born citizen. Now we learn that Congress doesn’t really have to win a vote to pass a law, they can just DEEM it passed.
Our system of government was designed to be run by civilized men of good will. Instead, we have a pack of barbarians in DC. Send them all home, except Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor.
The ‘fix’ bill...wouldn’t it have to pass the Senate before going to the Marxist for signature, and thus raise the specter of reconciliation?
So then the Senate would have the Republicans raising lots of amendments on which the parliamentarian would have to rule, which could torpedo the ‘fix’ bill. So that should cause House members to be reticent on trusting the Senate and hopefully lead to key ‘no’ votes on the HCR bill.
This is labyrinthine and so tortured. The only thing that has been stretched and contorted more than the legislative process is Madam Speaker’s leather face.
they still don’t have the votes. Wish i could be in D.C.
Times like this I wish I hadn’t given up sniffing glue ;)
Let’s hope that they choke on this spaghetti bowl of complexity.
Exactly. If they had the votes, they would have voted by now, as so many others have suggested. Something has gone afoul.
The dems will unleash a sh*tstorm of a magnitude that their feeble out-of-touch elitist socialist brains can’t even imagine, if they trample the Constitution and deem anything. At the point at which they will deem something to be, they are part of an illegal government and The People will be moved to act in defense of The Constitution.
Praying for the best, that the bill is killed, and shot twice just to be sure it’s really dead.
The package of ammendments is dead if it is not passed as a package deal. There is no way the Senate would pass changes to their own bill just to make Congress happy. Is the bill dead without the package of fixes? How many “bribed” votes will they lose?
The trick is they can’t deem it without connecting it to a second bill. They can’t amend it without passing the first bill and having it signed by the president. It a catch 22. So yes they must have the votes.
Deeming it would sink it. They need a vote on this to pass it....
When the GOP takes back control of the house, there better be investigations on the bribes and the vote buying efforts. Sadly I fear it will be a “lets all try to work together” BS.
Note to CBO—Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Anyone who believes a huge new government entitlement program is going to “save money” is insane.
PS: I HATE these vermin more than Osama Bin Laden.
The thought that they are even considering deeming and passing it says that they don’t have the votes. Fox News keeps on saying they have the votes, damn, I am so confused I don’t know what to believe anymore. I just want this bill DEAD
I assume you are referring to deem and pass. They don't have enough votes for that. If the Democrats had enough votes for deem and pass, I am sure they would go ahead and vote on it.
If Congress doesn't pass HCR, then Obama's domestic policy is in disarray. And with him cancelling his foreign trip, his foreign policy is also in disarray.
So, I don't think they will be voting on anything this weekend. They will simply keep talking and trying to create the illusion that "the dominoes are falling" in their favor.
You can impeach members of the executive branch and the judicial branch. You cannot impeach House and Senate members. For them, they either retire, die in office, are voted out, or are (rarely) expelled from the Bodies by their peers.
Thank God; I hope you are right! Pelosi, Reed and Obama have made a total banana republic out of the Congress and White House. It’s shocking and disgusting to see that the radicals finally “made it” to total power...or so they thought. They have dreams of Hugo and Fidel dancing in their pea brains.
I'm going out to the lobby to grab some Snowcaps and popcorn...
Yes, impeachment and treason.
The debate is about the plan and beyond the rules....great!
If this bill passes exactly as the Senate version doesn’t it mean that a bill passed without input from the House? Does this not, more or less, mean the House is impotent? Who, then needs them at all? It looks like a path to consolidation of power, first taking it from the people themselves - or rather TRYING to.
Remember that every time GORE or his Attorneys tried something, they were so confused and stopped by another court, til finally ONE Great Judge made the correct decision put this to an end. This is happening before our eyes once more. Thank you Lord.
There is just no way for them to find a way around all of their criminal activity under any law, yet they keep digging.
Thanks for the link. At the moment, the Democrats are being destroyed as they try to support the current Massachusetts plan.
Sounds like they have tied themselves into knots... again. Are they going to vote against it before they vote for it, or the other way around? I just love this “most ethical congress in history”!
See link at post #5,....Seesions is laying out the cost right now!
The House is making its position very clear - it will take HR 3590, ONLY IF it is modified by reconciliation. If reconciliation is "not passed," then HR 3590 isn't "deemed passed."
a :absence or denial of any authority or established order b : absence of order
They'd have to sign the Senate bill as is, hand it to Obama to sign, then vote on ammending the bill, which ammendments would have to be approved by the Senate? Fat chance.
I’d say that for Obama that would be payback from a higher power than he! :)
Man, could the Democrats use some grownups on their side. This is pathetic.
I wish Sessions would have commented on them constantly using the ‘buzz word’ set by Zero. I’m getting SICK of hearing ‘status quo’.
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