The Health Care Nuclear Option is still the stated plan to get Obamacare to the President’s desk. The latest wrinkle is designed to allow pro-life Democrats to vote for the Senate’s taxpayer funded abortion language while still claiming they never voted for taxpayer funded abortions. Don’t be fooled.
First, let’s be clear that the Senate bill allows tax dollars to be used for abortions. According to Chuck Donovan of The Heritage Foundation, the Senate passed Obamacare bill funds abortion in several ways, even creating an appropriation for Community Health Centers that contains no restriction on abortion subsidies. If the Senate version of Obamacare is passed by the House and sent to the President, then the House has consented to the federal funding of abortion.
House members have come up with a unique way to structure a vote that attempts to avoid the House voting on legislation before it goes to the president. First, the House Budget Committee will report out a reconciliation bill. It is unclear as to whether the Stupak Amendment will be added. This reconciliation measure would be reported for consideration by the House of Representatives as a whole.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would then package the Senate passed Obamacare bill and the House reconciliation measure into one measure. The House rules committee will report out a rule that will allow the Senate passed Obamacare bill to pass the House without a vote. The rule will be self-executing in the sense that the House will have been deemed to pass the Senate Obamacare bill if the House can muster the votes to pass the reconciliation measure. The House has used this procedure in the past during a debate on funding the Global War on Terror and in passing debt limit increases under the “Gephardt Rule.”
There is a constitutional issue raised by this procedure. Article 1, Section 7, of the Constitution states in part “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President of the United States.” If the House does not vote on a bill, is it considered to “have passed the House of Representatives?” Don’t expect the Supreme Court to take up this case, because this is in the realm of a political issue that the Courts tend to want resolved by the House and Senate through the democratic process. It is a Constitutional concern and should be discussed by all Americans. If any member of Congress claims to have not voted for the pro-abortion Senate passed bill, one can point to this provision in the Constitution to argue the opposite.
Procedurally, this would happen in the following order. The House Rules Committee would approve this self-executing rule. The House would vote on the rule that allows this scenario. Then the House will vote on the reconciliation measure. Upon passage of the reconciliation measure the Senate Obamacare bill will be deemed to have passed the House and the reconciliation measure will be sent to the Senate. This so called “Deeming Resolution” is a trick that allows the House to pass a bill they never voted upon. Therefore, the real vote on the pro-abortion Senate passed bill will be the vote on the rule to allow this scenario to roll out on the House floor.
One provision that may make the rule is a provision that does not allow the House to report the Senate passed Obamacare bill to the President until the Senate passes a reconciliation bill. Bills are enrolled before being sent to the President for his signature and the House can prevent the enrollment and delivery of Obamacare to the President until the Senate completes work on the reconciliation measure. Sound complicated? Yes and it is supposed to so the American people can’t understand that the House is on the verge of passing an unpopular Obamacare bill, yet they are reserving the right to claim that they did not vote for the Senate passed bill.
If the liberals in the House can pull off this trick, this would have allowed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to have secretly written the version of Obamacare going to the President’s desk. Do you remember Harry Reid and the Chamber of Secrets? Reid merged, without any official proceedings, the Senate HELP and Senate Finance Committee versions of Obamacare, with his personal additions to the bill including a Public Option with an opt out for states, in closed door meetings with political elites. Basically, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, OMB Director Peter Orszag, Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Max Baucus (D-MT), Chris Dodd (D-CT) and a few other liberal Senators have rewritten health care law in secret closed door meetings.
After those meeting the Senate moved to proceed to this bill, without any hearings or opportunity for public review. During debate in the Senate, Senator Harry Reid crafted a manager’s package of amendments and added the Cornhusker Kickback for Nebraska, a Louisiana Purchase and a Gator-Aid earmark. Now the House is preparing to pass this bill without a vote. The American people should demand that Congress start over. This secretive and non-transparent procedure is not way to force through Obamacare.