With a “shell” reconciliation bill posted online last night, it seems everyone is agreed that the House must pass the Senate health care bill and send it to the President for his signature, before reconciliation can take place. In other words, you can’t reconcile a bill that has not been signed into law. Intrigue looms, however, as Rep. Louise Slaughter’s Rules Committee seems prepared to “deem the bill passed” without a vote (straight from Pelosi’s mouth) – even though the Senate Parliamentarian says, no… ‘deeming’ a bill passed will not happen in the Senate. See videos below.
On March 12th Speaker Pelosi acknowledged the Parliamentarian’s ruling and said she will pass the Senate Bill:
“…the Senate Parliamentarian as you have said, said in order for them to do a reconciliation based on the Senate bill, it must be signed by the President.”
[CANTOR] …that this House must pass the Senate bill first, it must be signed into law before the Senate can even take up the reconciliation package?
[HOYER] I think the gentleman correctly states the Senate parliamentarian’s position. and therefore I think
Rep. Paul Ryan also referred to the verbal comment made to Republicans from Democrat Senate Parliamentarian, Kurt Conrad. While Politico is saying Republicans misinterpreted Conrad’s remark, Ryan doesn’t see it that way, and it is reasonable to believe that Pelosi and Hoyer agree with Ryan.
Ryan said that the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling that President Obama must sign a health care bill into law before the Senate can change it through reconciliation largely renders moot the attempt by Rep. Louise Slaughter to shield members from a direct vote on the senate health care bill. He said the idea would also violate Obama’s call for an up-or-down vote. “that’s not an up-or-down vote, that’s sweeping it under the rug and into law,” Ryan said:
…it looks like House Democrats won’t have to vote directly on a Senate bill they really don’t like. The speaker hasn’t made a final decision, but she told her rank-and-file during the meeting that the plan now is to craft a rule that would “deem” the Senate bill passed once they approve the package of fixes.
That means they would vote on the rule and the so-called reconciliation package, which would make changes to the Senate bill andonly requires 51 votes to pass in the Upper Chamber….
The question is, is Pelosi playing word games? She is saying the Senate bill must be signed by the President, but is she relying on the Slaughter made-up bill that the House can “deem” it passed without a vote?
Here is how the “shell” bill works. Philip Klein writing at The American Spectator says this is not the “actual reconciliation bill.” He quotes Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) saying that this bill is a “shell” bill. Democrats will approve it, probably today, it will go to the Rules Committee, “be stripped,” and then all the things they have supposedly negotiated will be added in.
Ryan says the process begins with the Budget committee approving the “shell” bill, then the bill goes to the Rules Committee. In the budget committee, Republicans are out-numbered 2-to-1, and do not have the votes to stop it. Republicans will not be able to offer any amendments, but can offer “motions to instruct the Rules Committee, which will hopefully show the outlandish maneuver Democrats are taking for what it is – unconstitutional. Illegal?
Ryan said that the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling that President Obama must sign a health care bill into law before the Senate can change it through reconciliation largely renders moot the attempt by Rep. Louise Slaughter to shield members from a direct vote on the senate health care bill. He said the idea would also violate Obama’s call for an up-or-down vote. “that’s not an up-or-down vote, that’s sweeping it under the rug and into law,” Ryan said.
In The American Spectator piece, Rep. Ryan warned about focusing on reconciliation, which he says is a “distraction.”
Paul Ryan’s op-ed in today’s Washington Post shows that nothing has changed and whatever you see in the 2309-page tome posted last night is up for embellishment or deletion.
Ed Morrisey, writing before it was clear that this is a shell bill, asked what the bill might contain that makes it ineligible for reconciliation and points out page 1557 of the existing reconciliation calls for the creation of a Comparative Effectiveness Center (panel) which finds ways to ration health care based on certain parameters, one of which in the bill is “Economics.” Much of the newly written bill will surely contain language from this one. We can count on the Comparative Effectiveness Center also being included.
Any part not directly germane to budgeting should, according to the rules, have to go through normal Senate debate. Republicans will want to find as many of these as possible.
There is a post I think you’ll want to read at Jus’ Sayin’. Don’t leave without taking a look at the very last statement on the page.
Hot Air has a quote from Steny Hoyer saying that “deeming” is demeaning to democracy.
Linked by The Thinker – thank you!