Green Room

Senate and House Ready to Put Lipstick on a Pig: Passing Healthcare Reform Under a Different Name

posted at 8:25 am on October 7, 2009 by

What do you do when a majority of your party, (and the American public) can’t come to an agreement on Healthcare reform? Simple—-change the name and number, and ram it down everyone’s throat. This is exactly what Harry Reid and Steny Hoyer have come up with to pass this fiscal nightmare:

(CNSNews.com) — A senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told CNSNews.com that it is “likely” that Reid will use H.R. 1586-a bill passed by the House in March to impose a 90-percent tax on bonuses paid to employees of certain bailed-out financial institutions-as a “shell” for enacting the final version of the Senate’s health care bill, which Reid is responsible for crafting.

Under the procedure, the substance of House Resolution 1586 would be removed and replaced with the entire Senate health care package. The maneuver would initially require the support of 60 senators to vote for cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1586 (i.e., end debate on the congressional procedure and move forward).

If Reid wins 60 votes, then debate begins on his health care package. Reid could then decide to block all amendments and attempt to get a vote on the entire package.  LINK 

This “procedure” is a ton of lipstick to cover over a healthcare package that’s on life support. But Reid seems to think he can muster 60 votes to pass the bill and send it to the House for approval. If the House votes on the bill “as written”, they can send it on to the President for his signature with no conference committee. Steny Hoyer has not ruled this procedure out:

If the House were to then vote on the bill as passed by the Senate without amending it, it could be sent directly to the president for his signature without going through a House-Senate conference committee and another round of votes in each chamber…..

Concerning that point, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNSNews.com on Tuesday that he would not rule in or rule out the possibility of the House holding a direct vote on the Senate health care bill without amending it if it came to the House in the form of H.R. 1586.

The actual final text of the legislation will be determined by Reid himself, who will consolidate the legislation approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the still-unapproved legislation from the Senate Finance Committee. Reid will be able to draft and insert textual language that was not expressly approved by either committee.

“It is not definite, but at this point likely, since it is what is available on the calendar,” said the senior aide about Reid using H.R. 1586 as a vehicle for the final text of the Senate health care bill.  (emphasis mine)

Chew on this piece of red meat for a bit. If you find it hard to swallow, you’re not alone. But, when H.R. 3200 becomes H.R. 1586, (still a pig),—passed and signed by the President—the Democrats will have circumvented the will of the people even while congressional approval continues to plummet. And, the whole package could be written by one man, Harry Reid.

(please take a moment to read this entire story at CNSNews)

Update:  I inserted a link to the story where Hoyer has not ruled out this decision to “change the bill”.

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It’s a government of the government, by the government and for the government.

Daggett on October 7, 2009 at 8:37 AM

The Republicans in the Senate should stop unanimous consent and require that the bill be read in its entirety on the Senate floor every time it comes up as business.

Farmer_Joe on October 7, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Farmer_Joe on October 7, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Or, the Democrats should pass this thing, (ram it through), and seal their fate for a date with the unemployment line.

Rovin on October 7, 2009 at 8:46 AM

How is this “shell game” procedure even legal?!?

jwolf on October 7, 2009 at 9:50 AM

Rovin on October 7, 2009 at 8:46 AM

An appealing idea but a. there’s no guarantee, and b. once it’s in place, it’ll be impossible to get rid of.

Farmer_Joe on October 7, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I have thought that talk of a new civil war was overblown – but if they do this, they will start a new Civil War.

WWS on October 7, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Let me get this straight:

– the House passes a bill to impose a 100% tax on certain employee salaries from bailed out companies;

– the bill then goes to the Senate, where they replace the bill with a health care reform bill

– the Senate may then vote to pass the 100% tax bill, which has actually been replaced with a health care reform bill.

On what planet is this type of subterfuge even remotely legal?

Mr. Pickles on October 7, 2009 at 1:50 PM


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