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March 16, 2010

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Danube of Thought

"which is politically easier..."

They all seem to have accepted that premise uncritically. I think they are nuts.

Sue

Which is why I have said reporters should stop asking representatives if they are a yes or no on the "legislation". A no on the legislation, but a yes on the rule change is a yes on the legislation. And if John Q. Public is too stoopid to figure that out, they might really need a nanny state.

Thomas Collins

My guess is that what is happening is the scenario described in the next to last paragraph of TM's post. Obama will quietly sign the Cornhusker Kickback Bill into law, so that budget reconciliation can take place in the Senate. If the Fix Bill is then passed in the same form by both the House and Senate, Obama will then have a big ceremony signing the Fix Bill. This is the scenario least likely to lead to Constitutional and budget reconciliation issues. It is also the one that puts the House members in competitive districts at the greatest risk They will be facing an electorate either (i) infuriated that they voted the Cornhusker Kickback Bill into law (assuming reconciliation breaks down; good luck to them arguing that they didn't really vote for the Cornhusker Kickback Bill), or (ii) infuriated that they voted the Cornhusker Kickback Bill as Fixed into law (I think folks are going to hate ObamaCare as Fixed as much as ObamaCare with Cornhusker Kickback).

steve sturm

With some number of House Dems leery of voting yes on the senate bill for fear that the Senate and/or Obama will screw them on reconciliation, how does this strategy address their fear?

The House deems the Senate bill passed, passes their own fixes... which Obama and the Senate ignore while signing the Senate bill into law... different process, same end result?

Danube of Thought

Bad news. In throwing out the Nader/Pelosi lawsuit concerning the need for identical bills to be passed, the district court relied on the Supreme Court's Marshall Field case, which seems to be right on point:

The District Court held that Public Citizen’s bicameralism claim is foreclosed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649 (1892). See Public Citizen v. Clerk, U.S. Dist. Ct. for D.C., 451 F. Supp. 2d 109 (D.D.C. 2006). In that case, the Court held that the judiciary must treat the attestations of “the two houses, through their presiding officers” as “conclusive evidence that [a bill] was passed by Congress.” Marshall Field, 143 U.S. 672-73. Under Marshall Field, 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,” and it “should be deemed complete and unimpeachable.” Id. at 672-73. Recognizing that Marshall Field’s “enrolled bill rule” prohibited it from questioning the congressional pedigree of the bill signed by the Speaker and President pro tempore, the District Court dismissed Public Citizen’s complaint and denied its motion for summary judgment. Public Citizen, 451 F. Supp. 2d 109. …

In short, Reid and Pelosi can flat lie in their attestations, and the Court won't look behind it.

Ignatz

Was just about to post that DoT. Wonder what Prof McConnell's reply is.

Ignatz

Here's the latest at Volokh. Partly a response to McConnell.

Danube of Thought

Check this language from the Marshall Field case:

It is admitted that an enrolled act, thus authenticated, is sufficient evidence of itself—nothing to the contrary appearing upon its face—that it passed congress. But the contention is that it cannot be regarded as a law of the United States if the journal of either house fails to show that it passed in the precise form in which it was signed by the presiding officers of the two houses, and approved by the president. It is said that, under any other view, it becomes possible for the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate to impose upon the people as a law a bill that was never passed by congress. But this possibility is too remote to be seriously considered in the present inquiry. It suggests a deliberate conspiracy to which the presiding officers, the committees on enrolled bills, and the clerks of the two houses must necessarily be parties, all acting with a common purpose to defeat an expression of the popular will in the mode prescribed by the constitution. Judicial action, based upon such a suggestion, is forbidden by the respect due to a co-ordinate branch of the government.

Ponder that one. The Court is saying that it is simply unthinkable, and thus impermissible under the law, to consider that the presiding officers, clerks, etc. would engage in precisely the conspiracy in which Reid and Pelosi are engaged at this very moment.

Roman Empire, see fall of ..

The last gaspings of a once great country. I do weep so.

Danube of Thought

Just sent an e-mail to McConnell asking for his thoughts. Will post if I hear something from him.

Ranger

Two thoughts. First, the court could pick up this case under the same logic that it upheld the campaign finance law, which is that it is in the fundimental interst of government that the political process be seen as free from corruption.

Second, I would not be surprised (provided this thing actually gets through the house) if Obama holds off on signing the bill, but sends a letter to the Senate stating that he will sign the bill once the recon changes have been passed. At that point, Biden will overturn the ruling of the Senate parliamentarian by using his power as President of the Senate to declare that the President's intent to sign the bill meets the spirit of the Senate rules. At that point I think we really do have a constitutional crisis, as you have the executive branch dictating to the Senate the rules under which they will operate.

Captain Hate

O/T: I just got the WSJ alert that Tiger Woods announced that he will begin his 2010 season at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in April.

Is anybody surprised by this?

narciso

What did they all it in the 9/11 Commission Report, 'lack of imagination', no despite everything, they were much more trusting
even back in the dawn of the Populist era,
then again, that may very well explain, why
they were needed. That year, before the 1893
crash, Weaver, won a sizable vote total

Ignatz

Sorry if this qualifies as andurilizing a thread but Volokh's server is acting fritzy for me so thought i'd post their latest one here:
Stanford’s Michael McConnell thinks the so-called “Slaughter Solution,” through which the House of Representatives to pass the Senate health care bill and a reconciliation package of amendments with a single vote, is unconstitutional. Yale’s Jack Balkin is not so sure. He thinks the “Slaughter Solution” — what he calls “deem-and-pass” — could be done constitutionally, but if the House complies with the applicable constitutional requirements, it might not provide House Democrats with the political cover they seek. He writes, in relevant part:

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. Under Article I, section 5 of the Constitution, the House can determine its own rules for passing legislation. There are plenty of precedents for passing legislation by reference through a special rule. . . .

The structural constitutional reason for this requirement is that members of the House must not able to avoid political accountability for passing the same bill as the Senate. The point of bicameralism and presentment is that all three actors (House, Senate and President) must agree to the legislation, warts and all, so that all three can be held politically accountable for it. They cannot point fingers at the other actors and deny responsibility for the policy choices made. The House cannot say, “oh we didn’t pass X; that was the Senate’s decision.” If the House doesn’t accept the same language as its own, even if that language is then immediately changed in an accompanying bill, there is no law. . . .

Deem and pass may make some members of the House feel better by providing a sort of fig leaf, but to be constitutional the process cannot rid them of political responsibility for passing the Senate bill. If it did, they would not have created a valid law.


Danube of Thought

"If it did, they would not have created a valid law."

It would be valid unless and until a court ruled it invalid. And that's the rub.

narciso

Balkin doesn't think military commission, which are older than the Revolution, but he thinks this is passible, if a little awkward

Rob Crawford

Ponder that one. The Court is saying that it is simply unthinkable, and thus impermissible under the law, to consider that the presiding officers, clerks, etc. would engage in precisely the conspiracy in which Reid and Pelosi are engaged at this very moment.

Thankfully, the Founders gave us the proper answer to that.

"...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Ranger

It is admitted that an enrolled act, thus authenticated, is sufficient evidence of itself—nothing to the contrary appearing upon its face—that it passed congress.

So, what does this phrase mean?

Does it mean appearing on the face of the enrollement document?

Or does it mean other information in general?

If you could get 217 members of the House on public record as stating that they did not vote for the bill that became law, would that suffice to challenge the enrollement certification?

centralcal

I leave to you learned folks to analyze and debate the legalities of the Slaughterhouse Rule, but if Pelosi is able to extort the votes this week, I rather agree with this by John Podhoretz:

There will be a lull right after President Obama signs it, as the media drop consideration of the controversy to discuss just how historic the historic nature of the historic legislation is, historically speaking, in historic terms … and then Congress will return home for the Easter recess on March 26, and all hell will break loose.
Ranger

House may try to pass Senate healthcare bill without voting on it

I would say that this headline in the WaPo could be called proof of:

a deliberate conspiracy to which the presiding officers, the committees on enrolled bills, and the clerks of the two houses must necessarily be parties, all acting with a common purpose to defeat an expression of the popular will in the mode prescribed by the constitution.

Neo

Robert Samuelson writes:

There's a parallel here: housing. Most Americans favor homeownership, but uncritical pro-homeownership policies (lax lending standards, puny down payments, hefty housing subsidies) helped cause the financial crisis. The same thing is happening with health care. The appeal of universal insurance -- who, by the way, wants to be uninsured? -- justifies half-truths and dubious policies. That the process is repeating itself suggests that our political leaders don't learn even from proximate calamities.
Danube of Thought

Here's McConnell's reply. I'll have to mull over what it means.

These are very hard questions. Note that they go to justiciability, not to constitutionality (which is the only issue I addressed). Also, there is language in Field that suggests that the issue had to do with compliance with rules, not constitutionality. Also, Field has to be squared with United States v Munoz-Flores, 495 US 386. If the House deems the Senate bill passed as part of another bill and the President signs the Senate bill, it will be necessary sort these justiciability questions out.

Seems to me it's cold comfort if the procedure is unconstitutional but not justiciable--that's something law profs argue about, but at the blogs we're all looking for practical effects.

I'll have to look at Munoz-Flores.

Sue

Dang it. I put my jokes on the wrong thread. Go to the fauxmentum thread if you want to see my stand up comedy routine.

The lawyers at NRO do not believe the SC will even hear a case that questions the constitutionality of the Slaughter Rule.

MarkO

All this reconciliation misdirection is simply an adventure in close magic. Clearly, Obama would be happier with the Senate bill unchanged and that is likely what he will get, leaving Republicans swatting at the amendment windmills while it makes no difference at all. In this way, Obama can blame the Republicans for the miserable lot of those pro-life Democrats who really don't belong to his party anyway.

He's as petty as any man to hold his office.

Danube of Thought

Rush thinks Pelosi is much more than three or four votes short. Clyburn says it may take until after Easter.

Krauthammer decries the whole thing as simply indecent. That strikes me as the appropriate term, and these people have obviously lost sight of what they are doing and how they are being perceived.

Janet

I just got back from the Rally/visit your Representative event. Ran into Jim Ryan and got to chat for a bit. Not too many people. I was there from 9 to 12. Met people from Ohio and Penn. that came on buses.
Again...not too many people.

Rob Crawford

Again...not too many people.

It's a fricking work day. Does a volunteer from MoveOn schedule these things for a work day?

Janet

Agree Rob. One older couple said they had come on a bus 3 times to DC and just didn't think they could keep doing it.

Neo

Clyburn says it may take until after Easter.

I thought there was some sort of clock ticking on reconciliation.

centralcal

Janet: I heard on the radio that turnout was "small." HotAir has a headline from Politico about the DNC laughing at the low tea party turnout (haven't read it yet).

Jane

The Court is saying that it is simply unthinkable, and thus impermissible under the law, to consider that the presiding officers, clerks, etc. would engage in precisely the conspiracy in which Reid and Pelosi are engaged at this very moment.

Actually aren't they saying that this is too impossible to fathom in the "present case", not that it is impossible. And if the allegation is precisely that sort of conspiracy wouldn't that language open the door to review.

(Either that or you now have conclusive proof of why I should not be a appellate lawyer.)

pagar


Thanks, Janet! I was just going to ask if we had heard from anyone on the front lines. Being thousands of miles away, it is just not
possible to go, but I appreciate all of those who can and do.
"Not Too many people"
That doesn't sound really good. I was hoping for millions.

Jane

Me too pagar. I hope it's a failure of communication, not a failure of action.

Janet

If I was a liberal and I wanted the government to take over health care, or whatever...I would just do it. Really, what is anyone going to do to stop them? Take them to court? How many years later will that still be going on?

Rob Crawford

I hope it's a failure of communication, not a failure of action.

IT'S A WORK DAY. C'mon, it's that simple. People have to work for a living.

JM Hanes

Rob Crawford:

"Thankfully, the Founders gave us the proper answer to that."

Nice in principle, not much use in practice.

Rob Crawford

Nice in principle, not much use in practice.

Then we're boned.

Jane

I think the rules committee is about to make an announcement. I just saw James MCGovern on TV and I know he is on it. They are also showing you and Jim, Janet.

JM Hanes

Rob Crawford:

If you'll forgive me a nitpick, it was not the Founders (Constitution) who asserted the abolisment principle, it was the Signers (Declaration). I also tended to use the two interchangeably, till I was nitpicked on that point myself. The Founders' solution was, in fact, constitutional emendation, not revolution. On the bright side, however, the threshold for the first is a whole lot lower than the tipping point for the second.

Captain Hate

HotAir has a headline from Politico about the DNC laughing at the low tea party turnout

HotAir carrying water for the DNC; there's a shocker.

Frau Sorgen

Thank you, Janet and Jim, for going into the Augean stable. Rob is correct about scheduling, but you cannot meet those 'doing the people's work' on a weekend. Heck, you can't find them during the week usually, either.

kneel

This year I'm going to "deem" that I paid my taxes.

Porchlight

The HotAir thread is annoying. They had every opportunity to publicize the rally in the first place - and I'm not saying that's it's their job to do that - but it's pretty irritating after the fact to read a link to a DNC press release as their sole mention that the thing was even happening.

I also quite clearly remember having to beg Ed via email to start a thread on the 9/12 rally. It was almost as if they didn't know it was happening.

pagar

"If I was a liberal and I wanted the government to take over health care, or whatever...I would just do it."

It certainly worked for Castro, and appears to be working for Chavez.

Frau Sorgen

Indy has a good photo and shows demonstrations elsewhere. The Fox link is LUN.

Rob Crawford

JMH -- no problem with the nitpicking.

Frankly, though, we've seen that an amendment is worthless. The Congress doesn't give a rip about the text of the Constitution as it stands; why would an amendment bring them to heel?

Frau Sorgen -- if we must abandon our livelihoods in order to get a response from government then we are, again, boned. The professional agitator will always be able to spend more time making faces in front of politicians.

centralcal

I agree with you about HotAir Porchlight.

I have a little different take about the turnout today, though. Tea partiers are the most involved and most informed. Most of them already know who, what, where, when of the HCR monstrosity, and they have spent months voicing their opposition. To no avail with Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and a large majority of Dem congresscritters - who call them names and mock them.

I think the anger will be channeled in other and maybe more effective directions that a march on DC today. I am seeing reports of tea partiers protesting today outside specific state offices of their representatives.

I think, from what I have been reading these many weeks, they are moving from "general" protest against, to actual "targeting" of these idiots for defeat at the polls.


Clarice

Another sign that they don't have the votes:
"While Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks “Deem and Pass,” President Barack Obama is going a different route – he’s talking to Fox News. In an “extended, exclusive” interview tomorrow he will sit down with Special Report anchor Bret Baier to make his health care reform pitch to the FNC audience. What a long, strange trip it’s been. The interview will air in full at 6pmET tomorrow and will take place earlier in the afternoon."

narciso

They probably didn't. and they really had no excuse for it, I think it's gotten worse since
they sold to SAlem

Jack is Back!

Yike! Hellzapoppin! Intrade at 76.2 up over 6 just today that ObamaCare passes. Not good. When the bookies are giving 4 to 1, not good. Me thinks the only thing standing in the way is a pitch-fork armed electorate that can be quickly mobilized but then we have tried that and failed. Intrade has factored in the legal opinions on Slaughter and reconciliation. My bet is the Senate bill gets deemed but they fail to pass House reconciliation aspects in the Senate and we are left with a "dog's breakfast", namely the Senate bill becomes law and it is never nullified but all its little details end up in court over a long period of time. My other prediction is that Moody's immediately down-rates our credit to AA or even A.

Jack is Back!

If your interested, Intrade at the LUN.

Janet

That's a great point centralcal. More local targeting....which is surely more affective anyway. I'm gonna cling to that thought!

jimmyk

The Founders' solution was, in fact, constitutional emendation, not revolution.

How about an emendation as follows:


The text of this Constitution means exactly what it says.

Porchlight

Why does Barry need to do yet another interview if the fix is in? Phbbbbbtttt.

I agree the Intrade numbers aren't promising, but where did they have Scott Brown's odds on the Friday before the election? (asking for comparison's sake - I honestly don't remember but I think it was mentioned here)

steve sturm

It's interesting so much discussion is over the Supreme Court precedents applicable to this situation... at a time when the justices don't show a tremendous amount of restraint when it comes to respecting precedent.

I'm not making predictions, but why fear that a court that overturned '100 years of precedent' in the Citzens United case or decades old precedents as to the treatment of enemy combatants would have a problem with overturning whatever precedent was inconvenient to their ruling the way they want to?

As with pretty much everything that comes before the Court, it's decide first, rationalize later. If the justices don't like the way this was handled, or if they don't like Obamacare, they'll figure out a way of invalidating it. If, however, they like Obamacare, then move along, nothing to see, everything is kosher.

narciso

Time to be watching NCIS again, I suppose

MarkO

The time for talk is over. All we want is an up or down vote on the floor of the House.

Damn. That sounds better all the time.

Obviously, the best move is to defeat the undead on the floor of the House, anything short of that relies on either the President, the Senate or the Supreme Court to overrule the House's action. Each of those represents a descending attenuation of likelihood that the monster will be killed.

The Brown silver bullet (or stake) apparently didn't work. I believe that is because Obama is prepared to sacrifice everyone for this bill. It is his place in history. His alone.

When we are down to justifiability, standing, and constructive fraud we are at the edges of a remedy. But, maybe Obama angered enough judges at the SOU to do the trick.

Ann

I am seeing reports of tea partiers protesting today outside specific state offices of their representatives.

cc: Here is what it looked like at just one district office in Ohio today:

Photobucket

Danube of Thought

" When the bookies are giving 4 to 1, not good."

I don't think bookies are involved. It's just willing buyers and sellers in a futures market, and obviously they are influenced by pronounecments from Pelosi et al. The buyers and sellers don't know anything more than most folks here, and probably a good deal less.

SteveS, the Court didn't overturn 100 years of precedent in Citizens United--as Samuel Alito said, that's "not true."

hit and run

Ann,you have sent that to Glenn,right? If not,then what are you waiting for?

Danube of Thought

Politico:

The drug industry, which has held off running ads until officials sign off on the final reconciliation bill, is growing more comfortable with the emerging legislation and is preparing a substantial pro-reform ad buy in 43 Democratic districts, according to a senior industry source. The amount and timing of the buy have not yet been set and hinge largely on action in the House. Still, the development is a substantial step forward from Monday morning, when industry officials, coming off a tough weekend of negotiating with Democratic staffers, said there were no ads in the works.

Great.

Clarice

They don't have the votes.

Interesting about the drug industry ad..though I trust nothing from Politico which is staffed by out of work WaPo writers.

My understanding that industries opposed to the bill are also gearing up for a $10 million ant-bill campaign in vulnerable districts.

Look at liar Pelosi's face and look at Obama's--they don't (as Steny Hoyer admits) have the votes.

MarkO

"justifiability"

Redolent of the perfuit of happineff.

Porchlight

Ann, thanks for that pic! Is that your own photo, or do you have a link? I'd love to post it on that HotAir thread.

Jane

Ya know I think every time the dems meet the last thing said is: Go out there and tell everyone we have the votes.

They said they have the votes today after a meeting of the rules committee - now it make no sense that the rules committee would have a clue if they have the votes.

They don't.

The do not have the votes.

And they do not expect to have the votes tomorrow either.

Clarice

If they had the votes would Obama agree to a lengthy intrview on Fox?

If they had the votes would Hoyer and Stupak say they do not?
If they had the votes would they be signaling they may not take the vote until after the easter recess?

They are playing Liar's Poker.

If I were at the table with those clowns now I'd see them and raise.

Jane

Me too Clarice, and we would be rich!

Porchlight

Stole this from Geraghty:

Rick Ballard

If they had the votes journolister credentialed morons wouldn't be contradicting themselves as the buffoon Klein does per the subject post. I'm rather curious as to the exit strategy upon failure. Does Botoxic fall on her poisoned dagger? Will Emanuel give BOzo the news in the shower?

centralcal

Yeah, Clarice, the Baier interview on Fox is kind of a show your cards gesture.

bgates

Seems to me it's cold comfort if the procedure is unconstitutional but not justiciable

First they came for the Birthers, and I mocked them because I was pretty sure the birth certificate was in Hawaii so who cares if a court says nobody has standing to see it....

Clarice

If we have to keep reading entrails until November's election gives this show the hook, I'll become an alcoholic or something.

centralcal

Ann - thanks for the photo in Ohio. I think similar things are happening in other states too.

Cowboy Steve

Looking for an opinion as to the viability of this;

From the Corner

According to the official site of the House Rules Committee, “questions of privilege” relate to “matters affecting the safety, dignity or integrity of the House, or the rights, reputation or conduct of a member acting as a representative.”

And,

Raising such questions of privilege would be a dramatic procedural countermove and would require every member to let their constituents know in advance of the final vote exactly how they feel about this process. And there is precedent for it.

Could this derail the Slaughterhouse?

LUN

Clarice

Even the procedure Slaughter proposed might be defeated--

NRO:

"As Kathryn notes below, House Republicans will bring to the floor a resolution preventing the use of a self-executing rule, known in this instance as the “Slaughter Solution”, to “deem” the Senate bill passed without a direct vote. The House’s newest Republican, Rep. Parker Griffith (Ala.) will reportedly sponsor the resolution.

Rep. David Dreier (R., Calif.), ranking member of the Rules Committee, pledged support for the measure. In an e-mail Dreier said “This resolution would ensure that voters get what they are demanding and what they deserve – a fair, open, transparent vote that clearly puts each Member of Congress on record for the position he or she takes on the very critical issue of America’s healthcare system.”

Senior GOP staffers on the Rules Committee admit that at this point the resolution is largely symbolic, and say they don’t expect Democrats to allow the resolution to come to the floor.


But one senior staffer told National Review Online that the GOP believes there will be some push-back on the rule from nervous Democrats, and that Republicans believe they have a small but real chance of defeating the rule should Democrats bring it to a vote.

During a Monday press conference that included NRO, Dreier disagreed with a reporter who suggested that ordinary Americans don’t about the minutiae of legislative process."

JeanD

FWIW, I have been pounding my rep, Driehaus (OH) for more than a week. He is a self-styled fiscal conservative and Stupak supporter, but voted yes on stimulus, yes on cap'n'trade, and yes on the House version of healthcare. Today's e-mail:

Dear Sir:

Since I couldn't get through by phone, I am writing to pose a simple question:

Will you keep your word and vote NO on the health care legislation?

Your website could contain a simple statement: namely, "I will be voting against the Senate health care bill (HR 3590) because the bill,as written, does not prohibit abortion funding." Instead, your statement indicates that, while you oppose abortion funding, you won't make a decision until there is "a final piece of
legislation."

There is a final piece of legislation, namely the Senate bill. Even if Speaker Pelosi uses the Slaughter Solution to "deem" this bill passed without an actual, direct vote, a vote for the Slaughter rule will constitute a vote for the Senate bill. Period.

You know this. I know this. Anyone else who is paying attention also knows this.

The "reconciliation fix" has no guarantee of success in the Senate, but passage of the rule will immediately qualify the Senate bill for the President to sign into law. The House and the Senate will
have passed identical legislation, regardless of the ultimate fate of any "reconciliation fix." The takeover of 1/6 of the economy and the subjugation of my rights to the will of the State will be
complete. The many beneficiaries of the "sweetheart deals" will giggle at the new and improved "two Americas," one for friends of government, and another for subjects of government.

Speaker Pelosi is dreaming if she believes that this cowardly strategy will fool anyone; and you are dreaming if you think that the reconciliation bill gives you cover for breaking your word on the actual
bill. You said you would vote against a bill that contains abortion funding. Period.

The Administration and Congressional leadership have been pounding the twin drums of popularity and inevitability of passage of this "historic" legislation. As to popularity, there is none. The public
has spoken clearly, consistently, and overwhelmingly through polls, calls, e-mails, and rallies. We want reform, but we don't want this reform. Leader Reid says that the individual elements of the bill are popular. What he doesn't mention is that they are only popular in the abstract; that is, without reference to their cost or their long term economic and social impact. I like omelets, popcorn, steak, and beer, but it doesn't mean I want all of them at breakfast.

As to inevitability, I can only hope that the House membership wouldn't vote for a bill that they have deemed so unacceptable and so flawed that it must be amended before it has even been signed into law. If the bill needs a "do-over" to get it right, wouldn't it make sense to just go ahead and get it right before you make it the law of the land?

Speaker Pelosi is thrilled that she has devised a way to pass this "historic" legislation without even holding a vote. Let me ask you this: If this legislation were so popular, wouldn't the members of the House be delighted and gratified to jump from their seats and go on the record with a lusty "YES" when the roll was called? Would they need to wear cheap disguises and hide behind their chairs in order to do the will of the electorate?

The pitiful subterfuge being deployed to pass this bill tells us everything we need to know: namely that the Administration and your Congressional leadership don't give a fig about representing the people. They just want to bask in the glow of their naked power to reshape the citizenry into their image of a "properly" controlled herd.

For a year, it seemed the Emperor had no clothes. Now, it appears that the Emperor wears chain mail. Passing this deeply unpopular and freedom killing bill by a cowardly parliamentary trick will indeed be
"historic," but beware what historians will say about it.

Please, do the right thing. VOTE NO.

Jean

I don't mean to andurilize, and will add that the Cincinnati Tea Party is holding a "kill the bill" rally tonight.

Jane

If they bring the slaughter rule and fail, are any other options changed?

Clarice

Jean, that is an excellent letter.

Yes, Jane..they'd have to follow the normal, constitutionally outlines way and bring the Senate bill up for a yes or no vote.

Sue

I think we should send memos to all wavering democrats that when they come calling for votes just "deem" themselves elected. We don't want to be bothered with going to the polls and actually voting.

Cowboy Steve

Jane, more good news from our home Commonwealth,

Mass.-type health care could wipe out economy, state Treasurer Timothy Cahill says,

Lun

Captain Hate

Me too Clarice, and we would be rich!

Don't leave me out of that haul; I've been saying those jagoffs don't have the votes since day 1.

Danube of Thought

The inimitable CBoldt weighs in in response to another guy over at Volokh:

Other guy: every actual source I can find on how this thing is supposed to work says that the Senate bill is “deemed passed” either on the passing of the debate rule for the reconciliation bill, or on the passing of the reconciliation bill itself by the House. Either way, notes MSNBC, “the [Senate] bill must be signed by the president ...” Per Pelosi, they must have the option of the President signing the Senate bill .... in order to work around the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling –


CBoldt: I’ve read approximately the same from public sources. “The president has to sign HR 3590 as it now stands before the House” appears to be baloney. The only way that can happen is if the House unconditionally agrees to HR 3590, as it stands. If the H.Con.Res. Conditions the House’s assent on changed what it just “deemed passed,” then those changes must be agreed to by the Senate, or else the two chambers have not agreed.
As I said in a previous post, we’re all speculating — but MSNBC and Pelosi are roughly mindless readers. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes not. Same with the other media outlets. The only way I’ve been able to obtain a clear picture of what’s going on is to read raw source material. And we don’t have that, yet, for this particular situation.

Wish I could translate, but I can't.

Clarice

The flitting president act is getting stale with members of his own party

Politico:
"For the first time in eight months the president is finally getting his hands dirty, and now he's going to hop on the plane? Please," said a Democratic congressman, who requested anonymity. ...Another Democrat told POLITICO that "this trip is really getting in the way of things."


Who wanta\s to walk the plank for this effete poseur? Step right up.

hit and run

Tim Geithner was deemed to have paid his taxes.

Charlie Rangel was deemed to have satisfactorily complied with House ethics rules.

Chris Dodd was deemed to have complied with all Senate ethics rules.

Barack Obama was deemed to have complied with all campaign finance laws.

Harry Reid deemed the Iraq War lost in 2006.

Al Franken was deemed to have won the Minnesota Senate election in 2008.

Valerie Plame was deemed to have been super-covert.

A penumbra was deemed to have been found in the Constitution in Roe v Wade.

And on it goes.

Clarice

Last night I likened this process to the Tartar treatment of captives (per Malaparte) tying them face to face to corpses to be devoured by them..Here's Noemie Emery brilliantly saying the same thing .


http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/dead-congress-walking

Porchlight

JeanD, that's a fantastic letter.

Ignatz

Isn't cboldt saying either the House passes the Senate bill as a stand alone or what they do pass, if it contains any changes, must be approved by the Senate?
It appears to be cboldt's opinion that if the latter the whole thing will die in the Senate.
I agree and would like to add that it dovetails nicely with my Nancy-is-just-shoving-the-blame-for-this-fiasco-onto-Harry theory.

Clarice

Hit--blog that to AT it's very good..

Deeming dems.


In NJ the effort by the tea party to recall menendez has been given a green light:
Politico:


"A group of New Jersey tea party activists can proceed in their effort to recall Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, a state appellate court ruled Tuesday.

The court ruled that the New Jersey secretary of state must accept petitions the Sussex County Tea Party is planning to gather to put Menendez on the ballot. New Jersey is one of 18 states that allows for recalls of statewide officials, but Menendez's lawyers had maintained that senators could not be removed from office by that method.

RoseAnn Salanitri, the founder of the Sussex County Tea Party and the leader of the Committee to Recall U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, called the court decision a victory for the recall campaign.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/34496.html#ixzz0iMtGd8yo

Clarice

DoT I think cboldt is saying that if the deemed language contains a condition--i.e., the passage of the fix--it is not identical to the senate Bill and does not constitute a law upon the president's signature.

JeanD

Clarice and Porch, thanks!

A little update. I finally got through to Driehaus' office, and had a "spirited, but non-historic" chat with a staffer. It seems that they will continue to hide behind the much awaited "legislation" that Pelosi is going to pull out of her purse as a manager's amendment (read: replacement for the stuff they put online).

I challenged the staffer to answer how any reconciliation fix would prevent the Senate bill from becoming law. Much weaseling and double-speak ensued. I swore, apologized, reiterated my disgust, said thanks, and that was it.

I don't know what chaps me more...the complete dishonesty or the cowardice.

maryrose

Clarice and Jane:
As we've been saying for weeks, where are the votes? Let's vote right now, but they can't because they don't have the votes. Axelrod Gibbs and Pelosi are liars of the first order with no credibility at all. Fauxmentum indeed! I was so glad TM called a spade a spade and put to rest this faux idea that this crummy healthscare bill is a done deal. The crowning irony- Obama going in his words " a fake news channel. Desperate times call for desperate measures with Obama licking his wounds all the way. How dare he force these congressmen to give up their seats for him.

Clarice

Picture of busy mom and fashion icon during today's anti-obesity speech

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/030LdQV33efSE/x610.jpg/img>

Clarice

2d try
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/030LdQV33efSE/x610.jpg /img>

Jack is Back!

Clarice,

Is that from "Night of Zombies: The FLOTUS Sequel"?

Clarice

Eat your organic kelp and you can look like her.

Jane

Cowboy Steve,

So far I can't open that link, but I believe it.

MikeS

Our long national ObamaCare nightmare goes on. There is no end in sight to the never ending story of ego-maniacal Dems trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. Though I enjoy seeing Dem politicians caught between a rock and a hard place, I think the only way to stop this bill is to soften the "hard place" for Dems.

A lot of yes votes are based on the argument that it's now or never. They say if health-care doesn't pass now it will be ten years or longer before any reform can be enacted. My suggestion is that every Republican politician who speaks on the subject should ask Dems to end this nightmare and come back to work on bipartisan health-care and jobs legislation.

Clarice

The American Cancer society is now calling and pimping the Bill. If you are a contributor give them hell.

hit and run

Michelle is the new Punxatauney Phil.

When she declares the Right to Bare Arms,winter is over.

Rick Ballard

JiB,

I believe it's Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue. I understand that garlic clove necklaces have become an 'in' fashion accessory in DC.

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