The healthcare debate is turning into quite the civics lesson.
Chuck Todd explains the latest tactic by Democrats called “Deem & Pass,” and apparently it has something to do with passing a bill without really voting on it.
The “rule” can be written several different ways to include passage of the Senate bill. Though no decisions have been made — including whether or not the rule will be used — there are two scenarios most often discussed, according to a Democratic aide knee-deep in the process.
Scenario No. 1: The Senate bill is deemed passed with the passage of the House Rule for debate. So once the House passed the rules for debating the reconciliation package, the Senate bill could immediately be sent to president for his signature.
Scenario No. 2: The Senate bill is deemed passed with the House’s passage of the reconciliation bill. Since the vote on “the rule” happens before the vote on reconciliation, this would delay the bill being sent to Obama.
Under any scenario, the aide says, the bill must be signed by the president before the Senate takes up the reconciliation.
What’s the advantage for Democrats?
Why are Democrats considering this even though there will still be a roll-call vote?
There are a number of House Democrats — either vulnerable in their reelection bids or who don’t like the Senate bill — who want to avoid a DIRECT vote on the health reform bill. They feel this indirect vote — even though it includes the health-care bill — gives them a measure of cover politically.
We’re just going to be totally honest, we still don’t understand what this is about. But this is MSNBC’s explanation, so it’s probably as clear you’re going to get.
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