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megimoo
03-15-2010, 02:44 PM
"The Pelosi Desperation !"
March 15, 2010
To: Interested Parties
From: Ranking Republican David Dreier (R-San Dimas, CA)
Subject: The Slaughter Solution: Bending the Rules Beyond Belief

The Democratic Majority has a problem with their efforts to pass healthcare legislation, and it’s political: they simply do not have enough Members in the House willing to vote for the Senate-passed healthcare bill. That’s understandable because it’s an awful bill loaded with special interest provisions. To solve their political problem, they’re looking for a procedural solution. That’s where the Rules Committee comes in.

On Sunday, senior presidential advisor David Axelrod said on ABC News’ This Week, “We don’t want to see procedural gimmicks used to try to prevent an up-or-down vote on this issue.”

But gimmicks seem to be exactly what House Democrats are planning to use. According to a Friday report in Politico, “[Speaker] Pelosi reminded her members, as she frequently does, that she wants to make the whole process as quick and politically painless as possible, a person present said.”

Given the widespread unpopularity of the healthcare process, and the Senate bill in particular, it may be quick, but it won’t be painless. How will they attempt it?

The “Slaughter Solution.” If House Democrats are going to be able to move the Senate-passed healthcare bill and a reconciliation “fix-it” package, they are going to have to seriously bend the rules to make it happen.

Moving the Bill through the House

Under the Democratic Majority’s strategy, they must get 2 bills to the President’s desk:
(1) the Senate-passed healthcare bill and
(2) the reconciliation “fix-it” legislation colloquially referred to as the “sidecar.”

The House Budget Committee is beginning the process by marking up the “fix-it” bill today. That bill will be just a shell. Its text will be replaced in the Rules Committee with the still unseen (as of Monday morning) text of the reconciliation bill.

Bearing in mind the main problem facing the Majority — a lack of votes for the Senate-passed bill — we expect them to use the rule providing for consideration of the Senate and sidecar bills to minimize the number of difficult votes they will have to force their Members to take. There are at least five potential paths illustrated in the table below.


Senate Bill
(Senate Amendment to H.R. 3950) Reconciliation "Sidecar"
http://rules-republicans.house.gov/ShortTopics/Read.aspx?id=345(yet to be reported by Budget Committee

Scenario 1: "Play it Straight"
Rule provides for an up or down vote
Rule provides for an up or down vote......"They Don't Have Enough Votes to Pass it "

Scenario 2: "Slaughter Solution 1"
Rule "deems" the Senate bill passed immediately and sends the bill to the President
Rule provides for an up or down vote

Scenario 3: "Slaughter Solution 2"
Rule "deems" the Senate bill passed upon House adoption of reconciliation sidecar, Rule provides for an up or down vote

Scenario 4: "Slaughter Solution 3"
Rule "deems" the Senate bill passed when the Senate passes the reconciliation sidecar
Rule provides for an up or down vote

Scenario 5: "The Double Whammy"

Rule #2 "deems the Senate bill passed immediately and sends the bill to the President
Rule #1 allows the Rules Committee to turn off the motion to recommit
Rule #2 "deems" the sidecar bill passed immediately and sends the bill to the Senate

If the Majority were to handle these items under regular order, we could expect up or down votes on both the Senate-passed healthcare bill and the sidecar bill. We know that won’t happen. Their political problem is a lack of will to take that all-important first vote on the Senate healthcare bill. This brings us to the “Slaughter Solution” and its many variations.

The Slaughter Solution

When the Chairwoman of the Rules Committee floated the proposed “Slaughter Solution” last week, the outcry was immediate. What she proposed was using a rule providing for consideration of both the Senate and sidecar bills to “deem” the Senate bill as passed, avoiding the political problems that stem from taking a true up or down vote on the horribly unpopular legislation.

The Slaughter Solution comes in three flavors: in the first, the rule simply self-enacts the Senate bill and sends it along to the President for his signature; the second deems the Senate healthcare bill adopted only upon House passage of the reconciliation package;

and the third, most egregious option, conditions adoption of the Senate healthcare package on the Senate passage of the reconciliation sidecar. Only then would the Senate-passed healthcare bill be approved by the House.

In all three of these scenarios, the Senate-passed healthcare bill wouldn’t be given an up or down vote on its own.

While it appears that the Democratic majority has not definitively settled on a strategy, the third Slaughter Solution may not be viable. Recent reports indicated that the Senate parliamentarian has thrown cold water on that scenario by asserting that the House must approve and the President must sign the Senate-passed healthcare bill before the Senate can even begin the reconciliation process.

The reasoning was that the reconciliation instructions contained in the Budget Resolution require changes in law, and changes to a yet-to-be-enacted bill don’t count.

Even Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer seem to have accepted this detail as a reality that must be confronted.
http://rules-republicans.house.gov/ShortTopics/Read.aspx?id=345

rzoo4u2c
03-15-2010, 03:01 PM
We will come for them!