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View Full Version : Rules Committee Meeting Descends into Chaos



megimoo
03-20-2010, 01:53 PM
"Sunday Morrows 'Circle Jerk' Aught to be a Real Mad Clown Posse Circus !"

"But House Democrats are terrified of voting for the unpopular bill, so they hope to pass it by "Deem & Pass.

"I voted Against It Before I voted For It !"

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?

snip

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.

snip

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.:eek::eek::eek::eek:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Rules-Committee-meeting-descends-into-chaos-88725962.html