I’m pretty puzzled why House Democrats are going the route of using the “Deem and Pass” procedure to pass the Senate’s version of the health insurance reform package + the sidecar bill to “fix” it. Seems like they just looo-ooove to hand the Republicans brickbats to clobber them over the head with. And one that sounds like “Demon Pass”? Are you kidding me?
So what is this demonic Congressional tactic? Basically it allows the House members to vote simultaneously for the sidecar bill and the Senate bill as one vote.
That’s it. One vote, two bills. Done and done.
So, of course, the GOPosaurs are having a damn field day with this.
Here’s Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
“Make no mistake, this will be a career-defining and a Congress-defining vote,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on 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.”
Thanks for the advice for Dems, Mitch. You seem to be so full of advice for them lately. I’m sure they’ll be taking YOUR advice on how to avoid being attacked by Republicans.
Rep. David Dreier of California:
“It’s very painful and troubling to see the gymnastics through which they are going to avoid accountability and I hope very much that, at the end of the day, that if we are going to have a vote, we will have a clean up-or-down vote.
Holy crap! A Republican just said we are going to have an “up or down” vote.
So, just how rare is this “unprecedented” maneuver? Not at all unprecedented. The Republicans used it 36 times in 2005 and 2006 and the Democrats used it 49 times in 2007 and 2008. More details at the Wonk Room.
But, far and wide, the media is getting this wrong, wrong, wrong. Heck, even the normally reasonable Christian Science Monitor has the inflammatory headline ‘Deem and pass’: Democrats’ new tactic for healthcare reform bill.
You know. Except that it is NOT a new tactic. But let’s not facts get in the way of our journalism here, right folks?
There is some great commentary on this move at the Hill’s Congress Blog. Highly commendable reading.
But, hey, ya know. It sounds demonic, right? And it’s getting health insurance reform passed. So let the Conservative freak-out begin.
I’m just sayin’…