Reality, once again, is stranger than fiction. There is apparently a plan in the House of Representatives to “sort of” adopt the Senate healthcare bill and, after it is signed into law, rely on the Senate to amend it to suit the House. The discussion is for the House to adopt a Rule of some sort. An amendment to the Rule will provide that, upon adoption of the Rule, the Senate healthcare bill will be “deemed” to have been adopted. Plausible deniability then exists for House members to say “I didn’t vote for the Senate version of the healthcare bill.” The House then becomes dependent on the Senate to draft, and pass, amendments to take out all the pieces that are objectionable to a majority of the House … like tax-paid abortions.
So healthcare reform is to itself be reformed by amending a known bad law (in the eyes of the House) after the House didn’t really pass it.
Cute, but unconstitutional. The Constitution provides that laws shall have been passed by both houses of Congress … passed mind you … and signed by the President. I can just hear Judge Andrew Napolitano now! Here’s a link to the maneuver. Yes, it’s a Republican site but my point here is not a partisan one, except that I’m kinda partisan about the Constitution. Some really smart people drew it up a few years ago.
The Slaughter Solution comes in three flavors: in the first, the rule simply self-enacts the Senate bill and sends it along to the President for his signature; the second deems the Senate healthcare bill adopted only upon House passage of the reconciliation package; and the third, most egregious option, conditions adoption of the Senate healthcare package on the Senate passage of the reconciliation sidecar. Only then would the Senate-passed healthcare bill be approved by the House. In all three of these scenarios, the Senate-passed healthcare bill wouldn’t be given an up or down vote on its own.