Friday, March 19, 2010

If Fianna Fáil used "deem and pass" ...

Just imagine the reaction of Fintan O'Toole and Vincent Browne if Fianna Fáil ever tried a stunt like deem and pass? Just imagine the tut-tutting of Pat Kenny and George Hook. Just imagine.

I hadn't been paying much attention to America's health care debate and I still don't have a firm grasp what exactly it is Congress may pass, but using this "deem and pass" method is outrageous.

First, what is "deem and pass"?
... the health-care bill would be voted on INDIRECTLY, tucked into what's known as "the rule." The rule essentially outlines the rules for an upcoming vote -- in this case, it would be the vote on the package of reconciliation fixes.

By passing "the rule," the House also would "deem" the Senate bill passed (with a "hereby" statement. "We hereby deem..."). The House would then vote on the package of reconciliation fixes. But the Senate health-care bill would be considered passed even if they never vote on the reconciliation fixes.
Get that? No, well basically it's a trick where the health care package is passed, but nobody has to be tarred as having voted for it.

I like how David Brooks sums up what this means.
Deem and pass? Are you kidding me? Is this what the Revolutionary War was fought for? Is this what the boys on Normandy beach were trying to defend? Is this where we thought we would end up when Obama was speaking so beautifully in Iowa or promising to put away childish things?

... This is the largest piece of legislation in a generation and Pelosi wants to pass it without a vote. It’s unbelievable that people even talk about this with a straight face.
And he voted for Obama.

This will be Barak Obama's legacy.