Lefties (Daily Kos, TPMDC, and Huffington Post) are defending against allegations that the "Slaughter Rule" proposed strategy to pass ObamaCare without a vote is unprecedented and unconstitutional. The Slaughter Rule has the support of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and is the Democrats preferred strategy to pass ObamaCare. Liberals are peddling a talking point that self-executing rules like the Slaughter Rule have been done before and it was the Republicans that used this tool in the past.
The fact of the matter is that there is no precedent for the House to pass a bill without a direct vote by using a budget reconciliation measure as a trigger and a means to pass ObamaCare. Nancy Pelosi's potentially unconstitutional strategy to pass unconstitutional ObamaCare is without precedent nor justification.
The Wall Street Journal has a piece today that critiques the Pelosi strategy, the "Slaughter Rule," that is being considered to pass ObamaCare.
We're not sure American schools teach civics any more, but once upon a time they taught that under the U.S. Constitution a bill had to pass both the House and Senate to become law. Until this week, that is, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi is moving to merely "deem" that the House has passed the Senate health-care bill and then send it to President Obama to sign anyway. Under the "reconciliation" process that began yesterday afternoon, the House is supposed to approve the Senate's Christmas Eve bill and then use "sidecar" amendments to fix the things it doesn't like. Those amendments would then go to the Senate under rules that would let Democrats pass them while avoiding the ordinary 60-vote threshold for passing major legislation. This alone is an abuse of traditional Senate process.
I eagerly wait the left pointing to a precedent where a bill is deemed to have passed without a direct vote that effects 1/6th of the U.S. economy. I also await a precedent where the House used a vote on a budget reconciliation measure to deem as passed another piece of legislation. This process is so complicated that the President has to sign the ObamaCare bill before he signs the reconciliation measure into law, for this trick to work.
Speaker Pelosi admitted that she does not want to allow a direct vote on the House passed measure when she stated yesterday that "nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill." Ryan Grimm of the Huffington Post writes:
The Speaker, in a press briefing with progressive media in her Capitol office, said that three options were under consideration. One of them involved a vote on the Senate health care bill, followed by a vote on a reconciliation package. "Nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill," she said. She wouldn't rule out that option, she said, because there is no official bill language yet, which she said she needs first before she makes a decision on process.
This shows an intent on the part of Pelosi to skirt the Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution that "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 have a direct vote on the legislation, this seems to be a violation of the explicit language of the Constitution. Pelosi favors the Slaughter Rule that would allow a complicated procedure to be used so that the House does not have to schedule a direct vote on the Senate passed version of ObamaCare at any stage in the process. More from Huffington Post and Pelosi:
So the third option is to write the rule so that the passage of the reconciliation package deems the Senate bill to also have passed, a parliamentary maneuver she said the Senate parliamentarian had said was acceptable. It's a technical distinction and Democrats hope that it's deep enough in the weeds that average voters will focus instead on the substance of the legislation instead of the confusing process. Asked if she had firmly decided to pursue the third option, she answered, "I like the third one better."
Now we know that the House is seriously considering a procedure of questionable constitutionality to pass a bill of questionable constitutionality. Once this trigger is pulled, the Senate will consider a reconciliation measure that is functionally an amendment to the Senate passed ObamaCare bill. This violates the House and Senate tradition that reconciliation amend existing law as a deficit cutting tool. After that, the President has to sign the Senate passed, and House deemed to have been passed, version of ObamaCare. After that he has to have another signing ceremony for the reconciliation measure for the plan to work.
This is a very complicated procedure being used to pull a fast one on the American people.