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House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it

The Hill:

Dems move closer to passing Senate bill without actual vote

These two headlines are going to be difficult to explain when the House holds its vote. How do they plan on reconciling the fact that they're reporting on an actual vote, expected to take place later this week, when they've already reported that there won't be one?

The answer, of course, is that there will be a vote, and the headlines are misleading and inflammatory.

Meanwhile, confusion (willful and otherwise) fans the flames of panic on both the left and the right, the right insisting that self-executing rules (not counting the 200+ Republicans used) are, "the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War. It would be 100 times worse than Watergate," and the left worrying that the procedure creates constitutional problems.

But both sides make a single fundamental error, which I'll illustrate with Jack Balkin's example, that leads to all the rest:

Ezra Klein reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi hopes to avoid asking House Democrats to vote directly on the Senate health care reform bill; instead, she will incorporate the bill by reference in the House reconciliation bill, which will then be sent to the Senate [....]

Whether or not it provides plausible deniability, is it consistent with the Constitution? Stanford Law Professor (and former judge) Michael McConnell doesn't think so. The argument is simple: To satisfy Article I, section 7's requirement of bicameralism and presentment, both houses must pass the same bill for the President to sign. If they pass different bills, no law is created, even if the President signs both.

The first flawed premise in Balkin's opening is that he believes the Senate health care reform bill will be incorporated by reference in the House reconciliation bill. It will not. Instead, the rule governing consideration of the reconciliation bill will incorporate a motion to agree to the Senate bill (actually a Senate-amended House bill). Agreeing to such a motion is perfectly routine and perfectly legitimate. The House will be presented with the opportunity to vote up or down on a measure incorporating that motion, and by adopting it will in turn adopt a procedure for agreeing to exactly the same text as the Senate passed, which will be triggered by the House's recording of a vote in favor of passage of the reconciliation bill. At no point does the House amend or otherwise alter the text of H.R. 3590 as amended by the Senate. The requirements of the Constitution are satisfied.

Mark Levin, complaining from the right, asks incredulously:

They're going to present a rule issued by [Rep. Louise Slaughter's] committee, with her as chairman, that says that the House already adopted the Senate bill, when we know it didn't?

He'd be right to be incredulous if his premise were correct. It isn't. The rule will not say that the House already adopted the Senate bill. It will say that the House, by adoption of the rule, agrees that it will manifest its assent to the Senate bill with its vote on reconciliation bill.

Can it do that? Yes it can. The House, under its constitutional prerogative stemming from Art. I, Sec. 5, determines its own rules of proceeding. All the Constitution requires of it is that approval of bills be signaled by a recording of the yeas and nays in its Journal, and that the same text be agreed to by both houses of Congress. By agreement under the rule, the House will indeed signal its agreement by the yeas and nays to the language of the Senate bill, but it will do so with its vote on the reconciliation bill.

But isn't that odd? A bit. Could the House signal its agreement to the Senate bill with its vote on a bill establishing National Unicorn Day? Yes it could, so long as the procedure is agreed to by a majority of the House beforehand,  the yeas and nays are recorded on the Journal, and the text of the Senate bill itself remains unchanged in the action.

And that's exactly what happens here.

It's no different in that sense than when the Senate agrees by unanimous consent to a House-passed bill. Or when the House takes up a motion to agree to the Senate version of a bill, as opposed to bringing the bill itself to the floor and voting on that. The House determines for itself, through its own rules, whether it will accept a Senate bill by calling it to the floor and voting on it directly, or instead by agreeing to a motion to agree to the Senate version. In one case, the vote is on a pending bill. In the other, the vote is on a procedural motion. But either will do, thanks to Art. I, Sec. 5, and the idea that that would suddenly be constitutionally suspect endangers probably 50% or more of the entire body of federal law.

To Balkin's credit, he proposes later in the piece a method by which "deeming" the Senate bill passed would be acceptable:

Despite Judge McConnell's concerns, which are textually well founded, there is a way that "deem and pass" could be done constitutionally. There have to be two separate bills signed by the President: the first one is the original Senate bill, and the second one is the reconciliation bill. The House must pass the Senate bill and it must also pass the reconciliation bill. The House may do this on a single vote if the special rule that accompanies the reconciliation bill says that by passing the reconciliation bill the House agrees to pass the same text of the same bill that the Senate has passed. That is to say, the language of the special rule that accompanies the reconciliation bill must make the House take political responsibility for passing the same language as the Senate bill. The House must say that the House has consented to accept the text of the Senate bill as its own political act. At that point the President can sign the two bills, and it does not matter that the House has passed both through a special rule.

The luckiest part of this whole thing? That's exactly what the plan actually is:

Option 3: Place self-executing language in the rule for the reconciliation bill that deems the Senate amendments agreed to upon passage of the actual reconciliation bill in the House.


The Speaker took care to say that nothing's been finalized in terms of this decision, but her preference is clearly for #3.

Freak out over. You may resume your normal level of confusion. But there will be a vote, and the dopes who have run headlines saying there won't be would have some explaining to do when the vote is held and they report it. Except that no one will demand that of them, because ... uh...

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The pathetic thing is TPM is reporting (10+ / 0-)

    some Dems in the House are actually being swayed by such complete bs.  Democrats are such spineless pricks.

    Pass the goddamn bill!

    "Let us ... see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered."

    by dlh77489 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:32:19 AM PDT

  •  LIBERAAAAL media is at it again. (5+ / 0-)
  •  I thought the talk of "self-executing language" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    seemed potentially tricky.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:33:49 AM PDT

  •  I think they should just vote for the Senate (6+ / 0-)

    bill and the reconciliation bill on the same day.

    However, I personally don't care if they want to do the "deem and pass" to pass the reconciliation bill.

    All of this is PROCESS which I don't give a shit about.

    Also, in a few months people are NOT going to care a hoot about the process but rather they will be asking what this bill will do for them?

    Of course the Republicans want to just focus on process instead of what the bill will do for millions of Americans.

    Obama 1/10: "We don't quit. I don't quit."

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:34:26 AM PDT

    •  They're going to. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotster, axel000, Eric Nelson

      The plan you don't like calls for them to vote on and pass both exactly as you said you wanted them to: on the same day.

      •  Mr Waldman, hoping you would analyze the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson

        Budget Rec meeting yesterday and what it accomplished, if anything. I did not understand the last measure they voted on, with Repubs saying this was the Public Option.

        This guy is saying that Public Option included:

        This afternoon the House Budget Committee reported The Reconciliation Act of 2010 to the House of Representatives by a vote of 21 yays to 16 nays.  Included in the release is a Public Health Insurance Option on page 116.

        The Public Option appears to have made it into the last incarnation of a reconciliation bill in the US House.  


        by divineorder on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:45:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think they moved the shell bill (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to the Rules committee where the real action is happening.  I guess they just needed to go through the Budget Committee as a formality maybe? Other than that I'm not sure they did anything.

        •  Quick answer: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joynow, divineorder, Eric Nelson

          The quick answer for why it looked like the public option was in the bill is: read this post.

          Hmm. Maybe that's not the quickest answer in the world.

          The Budget Committee, in order to use reconciliation in a way the parliamentarians would allow, had to start by considering the bills sent to them in October, when the House still thought it might pass its own bill that way. The Budget Committee basically was just starting where they last left off, with a bill that had the public option in it.

          By the same token, reconciliation rules don't allow the Budget Committee to make any substantive changes to that bill, so they had to send it in its old form to the Rules Committee, which CAN make the necessary changes, and will swap out the old stuff for the new, smaller and targeted reconciliation bill that just fixes stuff in the Senate bill.

  •  free speech inconsistent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The restriction on free speech that says you can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater needs to be updated to account for threats to the public good in the sphere of mainstream media.

    We were at a party His ear lobe fell in the deep Someone reached in and grabbed it It was a rock lobster

    by fitzov rules on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:35:07 AM PDT

  •  Because, uh.... (7+ / 0-)

    most Americans have the attention span of a gnat?


    All Kossacks are my allies.

    by Boston to Salem on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:35:55 AM PDT

  •  Teabaggers should have a saying... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joynow, soms, axel000, blue aardvark, Rejoinder

    "Everything are side does is right.  Anything you're side does is wrong."

    Intentionally misspelled as you would expect from a teabagger.

    There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

    by djtyg on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:37:13 AM PDT

  •  For a moment, I thought maybe this (3+ / 0-)

    FP posting was about this place.

    With the misleading titles and the stupidity I've seen here lately, I don't think we're much better.

    Of course, we don't get paid to crank up our Wurlitzer. It would be nice to see honest discussions of what is actually going on, rather than demonization of personalities here.

    But asking for that is like asking for pie in the sky.

    "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

    by shpilk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:37:57 AM PDT

  •  Kool beans,,, you mean we can pass stuff without (6+ / 0-)

    having to vote on it..... WOW GREAT, fuggetabout incremental HCR..lets just pass the entire Obama agenda and let the beltway bloviators try and figure it out :)

    pssssssssssst  beltway bloviators NO ONE CARES HOW THIS GETS PASSED...  america is waiting for the outcome, we are tired and bored to death of your infighting over the process.

    "We have passed beyond the absurd, our position is absolutely preposterous" - Ron Tavel

    by KnotIookin on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:38:18 AM PDT

  •  "Journalism" by sources like WaPo and The Hill (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dlh77489, soms, axel000

    only add to the confusion and assist the repugs' meme:  it's all about process as opposed to results.

  •  No one cares about the process this the mistake (0+ / 0-)

    democrats make they assume US-write-on-your-palm-for-Jesus cares about process. everyone and their blind-deaf mother knows what is about to happen and how to advance or stop it. are they saying that the GOP does not know what is about to happen or that the democrats voting for the bill do not know about what they are voting for. See you in the tea-party-sympathizing  supreme court

  •  Very lucid explanation (3+ / 0-)

    If the Republicans can use the existing rules of the Senate to their advantage, then the Democrats can use the existing rules of the House to theirs.

    I believe the technical term favored by Constitutional scholars is "Duh".

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:39:55 AM PDT

  •  IOKIYAR (8+ / 0-)

    Ok, i'm at work, so i can't dig it out, but you guys'll remember when (2006?) there was a kerfuffle over the House and Senate passing substantially different bills (Military commissions? repealing habeas?) and then claiming the bills were identical.
    It was this situation, only the bills were different, there was some shenanigans, the Republicans were the ones doing it, and the press ignored it.
    Other than that, it's the exact same thing.

    The Republican Party will never die until there is a new political home for racists.

    by kamarvt on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:41:10 AM PDT

  •  Just saw this garbage from Andrea Mitchell. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, axel000

    The reconciliation bill still has to pass for the Senate bill to be "deemed" passed.  I don't know what's so hard about that.  Mitchell seemed to struggle with delivering this non-argument that House members won't vote on the bill, a sign that this controversy is completely trumped up.

  •  As I wrote in my diary, this procedure is just (7+ / 0-)

    like voting on the conference report, instead of the underlying bill and then doing amendments.  My diary is here, with cool (and borrowed!) graphics and references:

  •  Gotta love it (5+ / 0-)

    when people who have no idea what they're talking about start flailing about the thing which they know nothing about

  •  Just Vote On The Whole Thing! (0+ / 0-)
    1. Why are we giving any Democrats a way out? Let them make the call, show their vote and bona fides and then take them to account in the election!!! They WILL vote for it, and if they don't then our leadership has to answer.
    1. PR-wise this move is terrible. Why are we handing this cudgel to Republicans? Why. Vote it, get the votes, make it overwhelming, crow about it later, or if it loses look at our leadership and ask the hard, tough questions.

    Seriously, 15 months, up or down means UP OR DOWN.

  •  "Greatest constitutional crisis since civil war"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, dlh77489, axel000

    Ever notice how secession and civil war are constantly on the lips of the neoconservatives?

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:43:02 AM PDT

  •  What's interesting is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the HCR debate, since it has gone on for so long and with such vigorous opposition, has exposed people to many more rules / etc regarding passing bills than any debate I can remember. All of these things which were just done and people never noticed are all of a sudden done with a lot of people noticing.

    As long as a bill gets through, I suppose the end result - greater awareness of the rules / etc - is a good thing, but it's kind of a pain now.

    We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley Shacklebolt

    by chparadise on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:43:11 AM PDT

    •  No, it's not a good thing, because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the corporate media has done little is any explaining about the meaning of these arcane and asinine procedures.

      On the left, we became more familiar with these terms, and a fair number of us [me included] learned a thing or two about this arcane minutiae.

      On the right, they think it's all a commie-socialist plot by OneWorlders with their Blue UN helmets to take away their guns.

      If the public as a whole were to truly understand the total bullshit that goes on, especially in the Senate, they'd be in the streets with pitchforks and torches demanding these damn rules be dropped.

      "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

      by shpilk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:50:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If this somehow fails (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats will be in full meltdown mode for the next eight months.  It will break the back of the Democratic majority.  

  •  You win "best sentence of the day" (5+ / 0-)


    These two headlines are going to be difficult to explain when the House holds its vote.



    "If you don't feel enthusiastic now, fuckin' fake it." -- droogie6655321

    by jhw22 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:44:49 AM PDT

    •  the headlines are accurate, if misleading (0+ / 0-)

      Actually, the headlines are correct: there WILL NOT be a vote on the main Senate bill. The vote on reconciliation will serve as the assent to the Senate bill, but there will not actually be a vote specifically on the main Senate bill, just reconciliation--and by so doing, will also say "and yes, we approve the root bill too."

      Note that I am saying THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS, certainly by precedent if not optics. But it's true on a semantic level (which should be important when parsing headlines) that the main Senate bill will not be voted on, but assented to. There will be a vote to approve the action of assent, but literally speaking anyone's "Yea" cannot be separated into its components. It's not correct to say that a given House Member would have voted Yea on a standalone Senate bill; it's only proper to say they voted Yea on it, AS LONG AS the reconciliation was attached. (Which is of course why they're doing it this way; some Dems would NOT vote Yea on the root bill without the fixes).'s Progressive Community

      by torridjoe on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:59:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A vote's a vote. ;) nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "If you don't feel enthusiastic now, fuckin' fake it." -- droogie6655321

        by jhw22 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:00:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

        saying that the House will pass the Senate bill "without an actual vote" sounds pretty misleading to me, since there will actually be two votes I believe - one to approve the rules and then one to pass the reconciliation bill itself.

        •  No, I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

          Not according to the diarist--one vote, to approve a bill that a) notes assent to the root Senate bill and b) approves the fixes to that bill under reconciliation. One vote will serve to pass both bills.

          Yes, a vote's a vote--but the vote in this case is to agree to assent, not to specifically say whether you support the root Senate bill...because many Dems don't.

's Progressive Community

          by torridjoe on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:17:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The left wing media strikes again!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, axel000

    Because of people like Sarah Palin we need the word retarded to explain what's happening in America - Bill Maher

    by psilocynic on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:45:58 AM PDT

  •  So my friend keeps asking (0+ / 0-)

    for a printable version of the bill... does anyone know when there'll be one?

    •  Well, after the Rules Committee is done (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indiemcemopants, axel000

      It might be 400 or 500 pages. I'm not sure that's really "printable" though

      •  No no she says that (0+ / 0-)

        she'll print it regardless of its length. She said yesterday that she'd even print it if it's the 2,000 page one. By "printable" I just meant, one where she can go to a website, read it and print it.

        There are different versions of the old bills but I can't find the latest yet.

        •  Rules 300-400 pages will only be amendments to (0+ / 0-)

          Senate bill and reconciliation package. Senate bill is by reference, another 2,000 pages. So that is already available.

          What is on the Budget Committee website is what existed in the House in October 2009. FleetAdmiralJ is correct in that if any of the POTUS items are included, based on the Budget Committee motions last night, there is no version yet until Rules in done. Then everybody gets 3 days.

          Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590,

          I want the final thing to be know as Kennedy Affordable Healthcare Reconciliation Act -- KAHRA

          Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

          by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:43:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good Luck in explaining this to the public. (0+ / 0-)

    This is about protecting seats for Dems, or Blue Dog seats.  This is a continuation of the bumble job from the congress to the WH on health care.  Period.  This is also about the Speaker scrambling to get the votes from the house.  But I have a feeling she already has the votes, but some weak knee Dems who don't want to vote on this again.

    •  Who needs to explain this type of crap to the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      public?  It's only news because the DAMN GOP has made it their hot button of the day.  They have used this before, and no one never heard about it.

      •  Look, perception is a BITCH. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        axel000, Jerry056

        This bill or any bill should have been PASSED last year, we are moving to April, over a year on this shit.  Just VOTE and be done with it.  But throwing this in the mix is just more confusion and fodder for television and where do most ppl get their info from?  You got it, TV.  And there is NO ONE from our side on television RIGHT NOW to even explain our side.

        •  Since when has perception fucking mattered (0+ / 0-)

          in Washington?  Who cares about perceptions, hell it has not hurt the damn GOP.  Dems should do whatever the hell they have to pass that damn bill.  If it means going this route, then DO IT!

        •  There WILL be someone from our side on TV... (0+ / 0-)

 the time this gets to Clarence "My Wife Teabags" Thomas' (Oh, Anita Hill, where are you??) and Whiny-Ass John Roberts' Supreme Court.
          I think we ALL know the GOoPers and Teabaggies won't let this go.

          Reporter: Is there any way to overtake Fox News? Shari Anne Brill: Smarter people need to be having more kids.

          by Newton Snookers on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:35:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ezra reports that this "constitutional" argument (5+ / 0-)

    has been litigated before and a federal court ruled it constitutionally proper.  I wonder whether Levin and the other concern trolls at The Hill and the WaPo bothered to mention that little fact, huh?

    •  It does not matter. Toothpaste out of the tube. (0+ / 0-)

      This should not be done, period.  This is another give away to the GOP to hound, pound on the house not voting and the media will run away with it, as it has started to and of course, NO DEMS on television to explain this.  Why are we being shitty at COMMUNICATION?  Why confuse the public even more?  It is easier to sell, "they are voting on the bill in secret and we don't know who voted", than to just VOTE up and down.  This tactic will come back to bite the Dems, but  it is about giving cover to Blue Dog Dems.

      •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Once the bill passes, I doubt anyone but the press will give a damn about the process.  

        "Let us ... see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered."

        by dlh77489 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:01:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Then... (0+ / 0-)

        ...we'd have just gotten a lot of "Congressman X voted for the 'cornhusker kickback' stuff from the GOP and MSM.  And Congressman X would be forced to try to parrot John Kerry.

        This was meant to avoid that.

        If the MSM wre honest and willing to call "BS" on the GOP once in awhile, this wouldn't be necessary.

  •  WaPo: Newspaper Declares Journalism Frivilous (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, FleetAdmiralJ, dlh77489
  •  When is the CBO score coming out on the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dlh77489, axel000

    reconciliation bill?

    Obama 1/10: "We don't quit. I don't quit."

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:52:27 AM PDT

  •  Clear as mud. Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, axel000

    Honestly, the teabaggers will complain no matter what does or doesn't happen.

    Hope the Dems use this opportunity to do as much right as possible.

  •  Democrats need to feature the C-SPAN clips (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barath, Eric Nelson

    From this:

    What the Democrats need to be doing is saying, "The Republicans are lying about this. There is going to be a vote. It'll be on C-SPAN if you want to tune in. Their claims are as always a thin tissue of lies intended to fool the fools. I'm sure there aren't many fools out there who are taken in by this."

    The Democrats need to say this over and over and over again. Sweetly, with a sad smile. The Republicans don't deserve any credibility. The future of America depends on exacting a price from them every single time they lie.

    The media once cared for the task of winnowing grains of truth out of bullshit. Reporters no longer do this without help. When are the Democrats going to cotton onto this 30-year-old truth?

    Liberty and justice for all

    by lovable liberal on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:52:47 AM PDT

  •  What about the SCOTUS ruling in 1998 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Berkeley WV

    CLINTON v. CITY OF NEW YORK (97-1374)
    985 F. Supp. 168, affirmed.

    "No man deserves to be praised for his goodness unless he has strength of character to be wicked." La Rochefoucald

    by Void Indigo on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:53:40 AM PDT

    •  Lline item veto? The other case touched this (0+ / 0-)

      rule making directly. Look at DC Court of Appeal Public Citizen V George W. Bush is more applicable

      a bill signed by the leaders of the House and Senate—an attested "enrolled bill"—establishes that Congress passed the text included therein "according to the forms of the Constitution,"
      In the case at bar, the record contains a copy of the DRA bearing the signatures of then Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert and President pro tempore of the Senate Ted Stevens. Where such an attested enrolled bill exists, Marshall Field requires "the judicial department to act upon that assurance, and to accept [the bill] as having passed Congress."

      It touched on the House making its own Rules and all.

      the Constitution left it to Congress to determine how a bill is to be authenticated as having passed. In the absence of any constitutional requirement binding Congress, we stated that "[t]he respect due to coequal and independent departments" demands that the courts accept as passed all bills authenticated in the manner provided by Congress.

      The Tea Party cranks and psuedo-patriots are just going to have to accept that if Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President pro tempore of the Senate Robert C. Byrd sign the bill, it's a bill, just like in School House Rock.

      Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

      by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 01:10:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  voting procedure in House (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, Eric Nelson

    This post is dead-on.  The fact is, the Wash Post and CNN are outright shills for the Republican Party.  Hiatt's headlines have been deceptive and then some.  And he hires hacks like Thiessen and Gerson (Bush speechwriters -- yikes, can they write a clear sentence? -- to bash Obama nonstop.  In the same vein, CNN just hired the strident buffoon Erickson from Red State who urges his followers to send "fake poop" (I kid you not) to Democratic congressman. Fox is what it is, a vile tool for Murdoch; it is the fact these other "outlets" do what they do under the banner of "fairness" that is the real media problem and we all know it.  That is, some of us do.  Support the president and Pelosi; get these bills passed.

  •  The most one can hope (0+ / 0-)

    is that at least some of them will read your post and understand what the hell is actually going on.

    Sometimes I really wonder if we shouldn't have some kind of an intelligence test before these folks are allowed to become members of Congress.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:55:28 AM PDT

  •  That Post headline (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, CA Berkeley WV, Eric Nelson

    was the most vivid proof since Judy Miller roamed the New York Times newsroom that the corporate media has become a mortal threat to the republic.

  •  RRRRRAMMING SPEED!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Newton Snookers, axel000
  •  What does "Judge" McConnel think of "majority"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Former Judge McConnell's "concern" over "Article I, section 7's requirement of bicameralism and presentment" seems to gloss over Article I, Section 3's requirement of majority rule.

    "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business;"

    Surely if Congress can ignore the requirement of majority rule in favor of 60% rule, it can use much less un-Constitutional rules such as "self executing rules". And where was former Judge McConnell when GOP used self-executing rules 30 or so times over previous eight years?

    •  ah, but it doesn't say that (0+ / 0-)

      It was a majority is needed to constitute a "Quorum to do Business" not to pass something.  That puts a minimum floor of a majority to pass something.  It doesn't mean that a House can't move that bar higher if it wants to, however.

      •  What do you think a Quorom to do Business is? (0+ / 0-)

        "Business" is passing legislation which requires a quorom which is a majority per US Constitution as quoted and linked above.

        Constitution is clear that majority vote in Senate is all that is required.

        Can the Senate rules override the Constitution? Not in any rational analysis otherwise Senate's ability to write its own procedural rules (what the Constitution grants) would constitute ability to override anything in Constitution.

        It takes a Constitutional Amendment to change the Constitution and the Constitution clearly says majority is all that is needed to pass legislation in Senate.

        •  it means exactly that: to do "business" (0+ / 0-)

          By the way, "business" basically means anything and everything the Senate does, including voting, debating, and whatever else.  Ever see Quorom calls on CSPAN2?

          All it means is that a majority of Senators must be present for the Senate to do anything.

          •  Definition of Quorum is clear in law. (0+ / 0-)

            Constitution is clear that a majority is all that is required for Senate to do business. Business of Senate, in case you were wondering, is to legislate, to pass laws.

            "In law, a quorum  is the minimum number of members of a deliberative body, such as a legislature, necessary to conduct the business of that group."

            •  again (0+ / 0-)

              who must be present not who must vote in favor of

              and business, of course, has to do with passing laws. There is more to passing laws than just voting on them, however.

              •  Again Majority = Quorom = pass laws. (0+ / 0-)

                That's what US Constitution says. If you want to argue with definition of "majority", "quorum" and "business" of a legislative body you are out of luck.

                These are hard definitions which is why the Founders used them to describe the process.

                •  they also ratify treaties, impeach judges, etc (0+ / 0-)

                  no Court would touch this one because the Constitution also says that each House can write its own Rules of its Proceeding, silly rabbit. How many years has the House passed bills both under suspension by 2/3 and under a rule by simple majority.

                  You think you are the first one to question this? If the Speaker and President Pro Tem sign the enrolled bill it's passed by Article I and on it's way for Article II consideration has already been accepted by Article III.

                  Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

                  by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 01:22:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Procedural Rules do not trump Constitution (0+ / 0-)

                    Procedural rules in House and Senate is what Constitution allows. This is always trumped by Constitution. House can't write a procedural a rule that it doesn't need Senate or vice versa. Senate can't right a procedural rule that big states votes count more than small, etc. etc.

                    Majority = Quorum is in Constitution and requires a Constitutional amendment to change it.

                    •  The Senate has been passing laws for a hundred yr (0+ / 0-)

                      under a filibuster rules and no one from the has tried to strike everything down? Doing business is more than passing laws, and doing business is also writing other rules to govern your procedures.

                      The Senate has operated on unanimous consent all along, and the motion to proceed. Just Rules that they wrote. Well, except no motion to proceed is necessary in morning hour. Just Rules they wrote to conduct that business.

                      Thomas Jefferson wrote some Rules for the Senate as I believe he was its President for a while. That was a while ago.

                      Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

                      by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 04:34:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  1998 SCOTUS ruling (0+ / 0-)

      Section VI:

      The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 is a 500-page document that became "Public Law 105—33" after three procedural steps were taken: (1) a bill containing its exact text was approved by a majority of the Members of the House of Representatives; (2) the Senate approved precisely the same text; and (3) that text was signed into law by the President. The Constitution explicitly requires that each of those three steps be taken before a bill may "become a law." Art. I, §7. If one paragraph of that text had been omitted at any one of those three stages, Public Law 105—33 would not have been validly enacted.

      They must have a recorded vote on the HCR and it be signed into law before they can amend it.

      "No man deserves to be praised for his goodness unless he has strength of character to be wicked." La Rochefoucald

      by Void Indigo on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  huh? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Where in the quote does it say either of the things that you claim it says

      •  adn you definiton of approved is not what is held (0+ / 0-)

        They must have a recorded vote on the HCR and it be signed into law before they can amend it.

        What the heck do you think conference reports do every time? Amend bills before the President signs them. You are not smarter than my seventh grader. Don't know about many other seventh graders, so don't take it personally.

        Examination of journals in Art I Sect 5 has been rejected by the Courts. To be presented to the President as in Art I Sect 7 has been interpreted by the courts to mean enrolled by the Speaker and President Pro Temp of the Senate. So Nancy's, or in another case Coach Hastert's, and Bobby Byrd's signatures, as opposed to Ted Stevens, are what they look for on a bill, whether it comes out of a conference report, or is accepted whole.

        Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

        by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 01:40:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Slaughter provision (0+ / 0-)
    Personally I would much prefer a straightforward vote on the Senate Bill and then the reconciliation package. It's better politics because then the democrats can face the GOP with the clear argument that HCR passed both Chambers in the normal way. All that would be left would be a few improvements to the Senate Bill. Let the GOP try to 'fillibuster' those by frivolous amendment.

    If House Members really think they can blunt GOP attacks on them by saying they didn't vote for the Senate Bill they just deemed its passage they're pretty stupid. Actually the GOP would have it both ways; hammering Dems in swing districts for their yes vote and attacking Pelosi for ramming the Bill through via 'underhand' methods.

    Still if it's the only way of getting HCR....

  •  IF the bill-cum-law provides some tangible, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Berkeley WV
       measurable, relief / positive benefit for a large enough swath of Americans, then 3 months after it passes the country as a whole won't give a tiny flea shit shit about the procedure by and through which it passed.

      This is, sigh, yet another in a series of Democrats (too many of them) dithering and hand-wringing over a Right Wing meme that they, the Democrats (as I say, too many of 'em), have adopted, rather than laughing at these Republican jackals and just getting on with the people's business.

      Lord knows we need about 25 more Bernie Sanders in the Senate (75 would be better, of course) and a couple hundred more Graysons in the House.


    "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

    by BenGoshi on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:59:34 AM PDT

  •  I love this stuff. It's the nuts and bolts (0+ / 0-)

    of democracy, and it's always fun to see how arcane some of them really are.

    Educate yourself. Think for yourself. Be yourself. Act for others.

    by DHinIA on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:00:29 AM PDT

  •  CNN running the same headline (0+ / 0-)

    resulting in lots of vitriolic anti-HCR comments at the bottom of the article, including from supposed Dems.

    Fuck the msm.

    Government for the people, by the people

    by axel000 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:00:34 AM PDT

  •  Reporters listen to the damndest people. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dlh77489, vcthree, axel000

    And, when those buffons mislead them, they go back the next day to listen to them again.

    If "con" is the antonym of "pro," what is the antonym of "progress"?

    by Frank Palmer on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:00:39 AM PDT

  •  Clear demonstration of the travesty... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lalo456987, axel000

    that the Congress has become. One of the most important pieces of legislation since I immigrated to this country in 1980 - and we have to go through these rule pretzels to make it work!

    Truly this country is going backwards!

    The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past - Milan Kundera

    by Suvro on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:00:56 AM PDT

    •  No, this kind sausage making has been done (0+ / 0-)

      before, many times since you have been here. You just weren't subjected to media freak out by reporters who do not understand the process before.

      The corporate media does not understand the process and has been writing about it never the less, using the "freaking out" framing. Out-of-office-turned-lobbyist after years of GOP rule, and the insular Washington DC media there that dine together and attend school functions together is not above parroting meme from one side. What do you think they hear, the whining of George Will or the knowledge of Ezra Klein?

      Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

      by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:16:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the link (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CA Berkeley WV

        The 6 "deem and pass" legislations highlighted in that link are relatively smaller picture items compared to comprehensive health care reform. I hope you will agree to that.

        While passing laws is never a pretty picture, I think this degree of stench for such a major issue is unprecedented. If one looks at the big items in the past century like civil rights, Medicare, etc. - has one party so shut down the process that the other party had to resort to such fine degrees of contortion? I can't seem to recall any since coming to this country. It is also possible what you say - that these happened, behind the veil of the false journalism that seems pervasive today. In either case, it is a downward trajectory!

        The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past - Milan Kundera

        by Suvro on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 03:02:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Civil Rights filibuster in 1960s (0+ / 0-)

          by Southerners may have been what motivated the Senate to change the filibuster threshold from 2/3 down to 3/5 in 1975. It has had its own consequences.

          And yes, the GOP shut out the Dems, literally, and received few 'bipartisan' votes during 2001 to 2006 on major tax cuts shifing wealth and other bills. You were here. Did you really get form the Kerry-Bush campaign that the issue fought was privatizing Social Security. Not many know that reconciliation bill attempt

          I would agree about the journalism. Way too corporate. It is failing the citizens.

          Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

          by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 04:20:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ezra points out the stupidity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dlh77489, BarackStarObama

    No one cares whether the House passed the bill or "deemed" the bill passed. People don't pay attention to whether you voted using the passive voice or not. But by falling back on this bizarre locution, the House signals to voters that it thinks it's passing a bad bill. Some members of the House may indeed think that. I disagree with them. But for their own sake, if they're going to let this bill become law, they'd better pretend they agree to me.

    Imagine the ads. "My opponent thought the health bill such a bad piece of legislation that he wouldn't even vote for it. But nor was he brave enough to stand up to Nancy Pelosi and say no! Vote for the guy who's not a wimp." And what's our hypothetical House members response? "No, you don't understand. I only refused to vote yes or no because I was hoping to pass a small package of amendments and was worried that the Senate wouldn't act on them fast enough?" You have to be kidding me.

  •  Doesn't stop Andrea Mitchell from trying. (3+ / 0-)

    The Media remains stuck on stupid.  Or right-wing narrative stenography.  A hopeless lot, they are.

    Due to economic hardship, age, and craptastic luck, I have been priced out of the dating pool.

    by vcthree on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:01:47 AM PDT

  •  Teh stoopid. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:03:33 AM PDT

  •  This didn't have to happen... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's Pelosi's choice, apparently.

    I do not think it is good political theater and it doesn't reflect well on Democrats.

    This tactic/ploy is a mistake.

    Where are the "better" Democrats?

    by lalo456987 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:05:25 AM PDT

  •  I'd like to fire 90% of the press nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, CA Berkeley WV and

    by chloris creator on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:05:59 AM PDT

  •  Don't blame the media (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, divineorder, axel000, jhw22

    They just record what the GOP tells them to...

    "Mr. Reagan continues to try to blame Mr. Carter for the economy's present troubles, including unemployment." - NYT, Jan. 20, 1982

    by Aviate on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:08:10 AM PDT

  •  We HAD a VOTE (5+ / 0-)

    in November 2008. And yet THAT vote seems to be despised by the same people who claim to love votes now. They are calling for revolution because they didn't like the results of that vote.

    My brain can't handle much more crazy!


    "If you don't feel enthusiastic now, fuckin' fake it." -- droogie6655321

    by jhw22 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:10:33 AM PDT

  •  Leader Hoyer says its no big deal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    axel000, BarackStarObama

    US Rep Hoyer Dismisses Procedural Concerns With Health Bill

    ouse Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, (D., Md.) on Tuesday dismissed Republican criticism of a plan to simultaneously pass Senate health-care legislation and a package of changes to it, saying Americans are unconcerned with procedural questions of passing the bill.

    House Democrats' plans to "deem" the Senate bill passed once changes to it are passed in the House have drawn accusations from Republicans, who say that Democrats are trying to shield themselves from the appearance of endorsing the Senate measure. Hoyer said passing the two measures in one vote is "consistent with the rules, and it is consistent with former practice."

    "Process is interesting," Hoyer told reporters at his weekly press availability. "But in the final analysis, what is interesting to the American people is what is in this bill for them."

    by divineorder on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:19:09 AM PDT

  •  Dismay among Tea Party Surgers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    axel000, CA Berkeley WV

    I was curious about how the Tea Party Surge on Congress was going.

    I came across a website with an upbeat description of the event, all day today (9 - 6). The plan: "We will be storming the three House Office Buildings" and "fighting to defeat Obamacare 2.0."  The idea is that everybody is supposed to meet up outside the Cannon Building, and then go to the office of their "Congressman" and demand a face-to-face meeting: "Stay there as long as you have to in order to get a meeting." (Lucky to be a Congresswoman today.)

    Some hints in the comments section that not all is going the way they hoped.

    Comment from 12 hours ago:

    I've gotten some feedback about why the "four" did a complete 180. Most say it's due to the Unions??? You may want to try and dig a little to find out who is behind this, then we can attack the others that changed their minds.

    And another about the same time:

    Reps changed from a NO vote to a YES vote today, I would visit them first. The are: Jason Altmire -PA voted yes on Stupak and No on Health care and is now voting NO? He's in Cannon 332. #2 John Boccieri (OH) voted yes on Stupak and no on healthcare, but is voting YES now? he's in 1516 Longworth. #3 Bart Gordon (TN) voted yes on Stupak and no on healthcare, but is voting YES on obamacare?, he's in 2306 Rayburn. #4 Brian Baird, Washington, voted yes on Stupak, but is voting yes for O'care??? He's in 2350 Rayburn.

    And where is everybody?

    " husband just called at 9:25am and there is no one outside the Cannon Bldg???"

  •  The WH press is grilling Gibbs about it! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, axel000, BarackStarObama

    Ed Henry and somebody else (that I couldn't recognize) were trying to trump him saying that this procedure is contrary to what the Obama administration promised on transparency, that this obscure procedure is not in tune to what they promised to deliver.
    Gibbs repeated gazillion times that "there will be a vote", and he even told Henry, "CNN will have polls about what people think about health care reform, not about a deem-and-pass procedure"......
    it was ugly how they pushed this new talking point... scary!

    •  Wondering if the other guy was from Politico (0+ / 0-)

      What's their banner today?

      Ehrlich's Plans, Steele's Outreach and more

      Like who cares what defeated ex-governor Mr. Kendel thinks?

      "The standard is to embrace something and then find it objectionable -- a pivot that requires something few figure skaters in the Olympics are able to pull off," he said.

      Gibb's was okay.

      Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

      by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:34:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For Republicans, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, axel000

    who started "death panels", to accuse Democrats of using tricks is beyond shitty!


    "If you don't feel enthusiastic now, fuckin' fake it." -- droogie6655321

    by jhw22 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:24:19 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like unnecessary overcomplication (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just vote dammit and stop pissing about.

  •  Who gives a F**K? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As long as it's legally enacted, right?  I'll bet someone will sue to invalidate it, though, and it could well get to SCOTUS.  

    •  Usually DC Court of Appelas gets it first (0+ / 0-)

      and I bet if Nancy signs the final bill and Bobby Byrd sings the final bill, they will keep out of Article I going on., just like they did with a Bush law that Public Citizen wanted out using a process argument.

      Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

      by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:37:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Basically they would only need 216 votes... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Berkeley WV

    for the sidecar, not the dreaded Senate bill itself, if they use the self-executing rule... sound good, let's do it!

    "I won't give them hell, I'll give them the truth, which will seem like hell." -President Obama

    by BarackStarObama on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:36:53 AM PDT

  •  Good, we all got our screams in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Now let's look at some real-world facts, shall we?

    1.  Despite the huge ( and well written)explanation that  David has put together, the average American will see this as a non-vote, i.e. sneaking it past the voter.   I don't care that that's not the case.   It's just wayyyyyyyy too easy to make it the case and everybody, i mean everybody, on here knows that.
    1. Now let's just assume that it does pass that way and the Dems don't absolutely collapse form the incessant repeat of "It wasn't even voted on" (a HUGE 'if').  We will then have the constitutionality test, insuring that Health Care remains an issue for at least another year, and that its provisions may get stayed pending a decision.  We then have the constitutionality decided by a 5-4 Supreme Court majority that has made it quite clear that a correct reading of the Constitution is not their prime objective when it comes to defeating this President.   Is THIS really what we're all looking forward to?

    Forgive the sexism but it's time for the House to Man Up and do the right thing...ON THE FRIGGIN RECORD!!!!!

    •  Look when the House passes one bill and the (0+ / 0-)

      Senate passes its version, no one demands a vote by one chamber or the other on the other guy's bill first. They negotiate the difference, in a closed room (all my CPSAN watching over the years I have seen one conference committee opened up, none in the GOP control during Bush) and what is voted on is the  CONFERENCE REPORT. Signing by Pelosi and Byrd makes it a bill ready for the President.

      This is ridiculous to accept the framing. And ridiculous to accept bad reporting as the Democrats problem. I know more about House and Senate procedure than most of these over priced spokes models married to for Republican government officials.

      Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

      by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mmm, sausage n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Berkeley WV

    Welcome to the headquarters of pulling facts out of my hindquarters

    by Mike E on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:44:56 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like this mess (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is heading for the Supreme Court. And we all know how that lean is, especially with Roberts carrying a sore spot created by Obama's SOTN speech.

  •  Should have been saying since Dec. (0+ / 0-)

    Apparently, today's media members require simple sentences. 1) The Senate passed a health care reform bill in December. 2) The House passed a health care reform bill earlier. 3) The two bills will be reconciled [Old English=to make merry together] soon. 4) Then the president will sign it.

    When the fantasies arrive, all Dem speakers should repeat the simple sentences, no matter how boring. Democrats have a hard time with repetition.

    Elizabeth Warren: My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.

    by mrobinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 01:39:10 PM PDT

  •  SF Chron did it today as well... (0+ / 0-)

    Their headline reads, "Health care passage without a vote?" which then leads to the AP story.

    So disgusting.

    I hate my hometown paper for carrying the AP anyway, but to add that inflammatory headline is just plain disgraceful.

    The man went to Harvard, not Hogwarts. - Wanda Sykes

    by KHinSF on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 01:56:48 PM PDT

  •  Headline: Media is a bunch of wingnut douchebags (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Berkeley WV

    Fuck the corporate media. All they do is lie, distort, and try to sell whatever bullshit spin and propaganda their corporate masters pay them to spew.

    Fuck them all. I've had more than enough of them for a lifetime.

    •  I might not have used those eact words (0+ / 0-)

      in cas the seventh grader was readiang over my shoulder, but I do not disgree with the sentiment.

      THat new show Undercover Boss, makes them all warm adn fuzzy adn concerned about us little guys. At first I thought it was just goofy, now I wonder if it is meant to soften the hardening anti-fat-cat sentiment showing up in early protests against the bailouts.

      Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- François-Marie Arouet

      by CA Berkeley WV on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:51:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jack Cafferty on CNN has completely (0+ / 0-)

    bought the Republican meme, hook, line and sinker. This is pathetic:

  •  sorry but (0+ / 0-)

    I only have a Ph. D. but I have no idea what any of this means. Really, shouldn't a popular bill with public support with such far reaching impact be a bit simpler to understand rather than have to rely on obscure and byzantine legislative sleights of hand?

  •  I don't like this. (0+ / 0-)

    It looks like they don't have the votes and they should.

    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold-Yeats Grab a mop- President Barack Obama

    by TexasMango on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:34:17 PM PDT

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