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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Deem and Pass

By Anton Jackson

I've been around Washington for three decades and though I consider myself to be an 'Inside-the-Beltway' pro, I have to admit that I've never heard of 'Deem and Pass.'

Under "deem-and-pass," when the House considers a bill, they vote on a set of debate rules prior to considering the bill itself. When it is approved, the underlying legislation is automatically passed. Democrats in the House want to pass health care reform, but without directly voting "yes" on the version of the bill the Senate passed in December, which many members find objectionable. They would prefer to cast their "yes" vote for a set of changes that would make that Senate bill more to their liking.

If the House approves the use of "deem and pass" on ObamaCare, Democrats get to skip approving the Senate bill and can jump immediately to voting on ways to (in their eyes) improve it. If the strategy is successful, those improvements will be present in the version of the bill Obama ultimately signs into law.
[The Week, 3/17/10]
I don't understand. If the House is not passing the Senate bill, how can a law be considered to be passed. Passing the reconciliation changes in advance is not passing the Senate bill that would be signed by President Obama. The changes alter the Senate legislation and so no Obamacare bill is passed. We're looking at big time litigation if this technique is used.
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