Update one – Peggy Noonan, on the mark:
Update tow from Bloomberg
“House and Senate lawmakers designed the bill that will make changes to the Senate legislation under a process called reconciliation. It will allow the Senate to pass the revised bill with a simple majority after the House passes the original Senate measure and the changes.”
My Comment: This is all about the faux-emergency steamroller, the backdoor imposition of House rules on the Senate.
Six votes yet to buy….
Update – update
Dead Dogs Replace Blue Dogs
Update 3-20, @ 5 PM Pacific.
The Health Care Roller Derby continues. It seems that saner heads have prevailed and that no attempt will be made to use the “deemed” legal fiction whereby nervous holdouts would be spared the trauma of directly voting to pass the odious Senate bill. The new game, if the reports leaking out are accurate, is that the fix-it bill (the so called budget reconciliation ploy) will be voted on first, then the Senate bill. If the Senate bill fails, then the game is over. If it is approved by the House then the Senate bill will be rushed to the Oval office for signing. So the Senate Bill will be the law of the land until (or if) the Senate is able to approve the House fix-it bill under the loose “budget reconciliation” rules that won’t allow a filibuster. From my remote viewing perch, not all of the fixes will technically qualify for the budget reconciliation exception, so the democrats are taking the risk that some of the holdouts will be betrayed.
Blue Dog Democrats earned the name because they had too much integrity to join the main pack when it was on an unacceptably liberal course. They were shut out in the cold – and turned blue. If this bill passes in any form, the fiscally nervous among the holdouts (fiscally gullible might be a better term) will have been faked out by the forced CBO numbers that failed to include spending that will be quickly restored, failed to properly account for ‘entitlement creep’ and generally have grossly understated the deficit impact of this profoundly comprehensive reworking of the entire American health care system. The liberal clique that has staged managed this event will not mourn the fates of these former Blue Dogs, all of whom will be tossed out by voters this November. This accomplishment is so ideologically important to its proponents that a few dead dogs more or less are a small price to pay.
The only thing that will stop this Sunday will be the sudden acquisition of backbone by a handful of members who are willing to put the fiscal health of the country ahead of the ideological yearnings of their leaders.
The Great (almost) Sneak of 2010
Read Jay B Gaskill’s Lost Souls Coffee Shop, an allegory for the human condition. More on the Bridge to Being Blog at http://jaygaskill.com/blog2/ .
And read Jay Gaskill’s new thriller, The Stranded Ones. More on the Policy Think Site at http://www.jaygaskill.com/TourTheStrandedOnes.pdf .
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SENATE? WHAT SENATE?
The spirit and plain meaning of the US Constitution was placed in jeapordy by the US House of Representatives. A motion to block the ‘deemed’ parliamentary maneuver in the House has been defeated.
See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=36097 . If this plan had been implemented, a major piece of legislation would have been “approved” for purposes of not approving it, then amending it, without ever holding a direct vote, utilizing a parliamentary trick that was roundly criticized in advance by democrats and otherwise friendly opinion.
As a result the US Senate would have been maneuvered out of the picture and, assuming things had gone as planned, a monumental piece of legislation will be presented for presidential signature without having followed the simple requirements of the US Constitution, article One, Section 7 (See the full text below).
All this was to get around the fact that a majority of Massachusetts voters – and of the rest of us – opposed the congressional health care juggernaut.
Why even have the US Senate anyway?
Under the plain terms of the US Constitution, a bill becomes law only when the same exact bill has been duly passed by each chamber, according to that body’s rules, then and only then referred to the president for signature and duly signed by POTUS.
There is no back door. Or at least there was no back door when the framers set up the system.
Because revenue bills must originate in the house, the first Health Care bill was HR 3200, passed in the House of Representatives by a margin of 5 votes.
The Senate then passed a different bill, one that many members of the House declared they could never support.
The next step in the process is well established. A conference committee is appointed consisting of members from each chamber and charged to work together to iron out the differences. The result of that process (if there is a result) is then submitted – one result, identical language, mind you – to each chamber for an up or down vote. Only when and if the two chambers both pass this new, reconciled version, can it be submitted to POTUS for signature.
In the Senate’s own language:
“Resolving Differences with the House
“A bill cannot become a law of the land until it has been approved in identical form by both houses of Congress. Once the Senate amends and agrees to a bill that the House already has passed—or the House amends and passes a Senate bill—the two houses may begin to resolve their legislative differences by way of a conference committee or through an exchange of amendments between the houses.”
From the official US Senate website….
[ http://www.senate.gov/legislative/common/briefing/Senate_legislative_process.htm ]
But the House Speaker was so eager to deliver a health care bill to her president that she and her colleagues hatched a scheme to have the House vote only on the changes to the Senate Bill without ever having any senate concurrence or even having an up or down vote on the Senate Version.
An up or down vote? You must be “deeming” See –http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/16/AR2010031604251.html .
The Washington Post apparently thinks the situation is amusing. Most of the rest of us don’t. (Note: a clear majority of Americans oppose this bill.)
I personally think it is an outrage.
Mr. Obama and the country would have been better served in the long run had Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid resigned, the current bills withdrawn and the entire matter taken up in a less ideologically saturated atmosphere, piece by piece after full congressional hearings.
The current headlong rush can only be explained by the “last hurrah” syndrome of out-of-control ideologues who plan to leave as much party detritus behind to clean up as possible before they are evicted from the premises.
Jay B Gaskill
Attorney at Law
“U S Constitution, Article One, Section 7
“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
“Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively, If any Bill shall not be returned by the
President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournament prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.”