There is a huge controversy brewing over the potential use of a House voting technique called “Deem and Pass”, or as conservative opponents call it, “Demon Pass”.
Time for some “Deem and Pass” education.
1. Deem and Pass is hardly unprecedented having been used by both parties at one time or another. The first known instance was in 1933.
2. The reason in 1933 as now was that the House needed to make a tough vote and Deem and Pass allowed them to make the vote without appearing to really have made the vote.
Let’s hit the current situation. The House doesn’t like all the compromises in the Senate bill and there are a number of Representatives who would vote the Senate bill down but vote for the reconciled bill which corrects the compromises (i.e. side deals like Cornhusker Kickback). So, a rule on voting for the reconciled bill is put forth and voted by the entire House. The rule deems the Senate bill (pre-reconciliation) passed for the purposes of voting on the reconciled bill.
Any Representative who does not like the Senate bill and thinks their vote for the “rule” would be viewed as voting for the Senate bill, will vote the rule down.
The hope is that Representatives can hide behind the rule by telling their constituents “I didn’t vote for the Senate bill, I only voted for the rule.” It’s a stupid distinction that with all the current publicity can’t work. If a Congressman’s constituents don’t like HCR, he will get voted out of office whether he votes for the Senate bill directly or via Deem and Pass.
Bottom line, the idea that the health care bill will become law without a vote is poppycock. The rule must be voted on; it isn’t just declared. So by voting on the rule, they indirectly vote on the Senate bill.
And yes, Pelosi and Slaughter are using a method they opposed years ago. So friggin’ what? The party in power does what it can to get what it wants and the party out of power does what it can to oppose what it doesn’t want. It’s called politics.
Here are my sources: