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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Small Biz Health Care Daily: Non-Vote Vote in the House?

Just how desperate is the leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to ram through ObamaCare?

Well, one option is to have the House pass the Senate’s health care bill without directly voting on the Senate health care bill. Sound fishy, unsavory, and disingenuous? Well, that’s exactly what it is.

The Washington Post reports the following:

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.

The tactic -- known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" -- has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure…

When politicians are seriously considering sneaking through a measure that would place most of the U.S. health care system under government control, it’s time for everyone to take note, ask why, and inform their elected officials to back off. Indeed, if you needed more evidence that this was a bad idea, this would be the perfect example.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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