GOP Criticizes House Dems Likely ‘Self-Executing Rule’ For Health Reform Consideration
Roll Call: "House Republicans say they cannot block a Democratic maneuver that would allow Members to avoid a separate vote on the Senate health care bill. 'There is nothing that can prevent it,' said Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Rules Committee." The approach currently favored by the Democratic leaders would "allow Democrats to avoid taking a difficult, separate vote on a Senate bill many dislike because it contains special deals for Nebraska, Florida, Louisiana and other states." Under the plan, the reconciliation bill would delete those Senate deals (Dennis, 3/15).
Congressional Quarterly: "Democrats have not spelled out exactly what rules package they will use to consider a Senate-passed health bill (HR 3590) and a companion measure amending that legislation. But it is no secret they are almost certain to use what has been dubbed the 'Slaughter Strategy,' named for Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter of New York." Slaughter's approach reportedly is "to have the House adopt a rule that would deem the Senate bill passed without requiring members to actually cast a vote for the Senate's version." Many House Democrats have expressed disdain for the Senate measure "and say they would oppose it if it came up for a vote. But by pairing the Senate bill with the companion legislation amending many of its provisions, Democratic leaders hope to get the 216 votes they need to adopt the rule and the so-called reconciliation bill." Slaughter's plan would "avoid an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill" (Epstein, 3/15).
The Associated Press: Meanwhile, the House Budget Committee voted "for fast-track rules for health care legislation, the first step toward a decisive floor vote on President Barack Obama's sweeping overhaul." This action "was a procedural but necessary step" to move the health overhaul toward consideration by the full House at the end of this week. Now a 48-hour countdown to a House Rules Committee vote begins (3/15).
Reuters: The committee voted 21-16 "to advance a package of proposed changes to the Senate-passed healthcare bill (3/15).
The Washington Post: Democrats Chet Edwards, Texas, and Allen Boyd, Florida, unsuccessfully voted with the Budget Committee's Republican members to block the Democrats' strategy. Next, the Rules Committee "is expected to meet Thursday to draft new language for the reconciliation bill, compiling a package of fixes to the $875 billion measure that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve" (Montgomery, 3/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.