That is until they caught wind of deem and pass. Or Demonpass, as conservative bloggers have begun to call it.
Speaker Pelosi believes the legislative maneuver is a way for the House of Representatives to get the bill to the President's desk without a formal vote on the actual words of the Senate bill.
From the WSJ:
This two-votes-in-one gambit is a brazen affront to the plain language of the Constitution, which is intended to require democratic accountability. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution says that in order for a "Bill" to "become a Law," it "shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate." This is why the House and Senate typically have a conference committee to work out differences in what each body passes. While sometimes one house cedes entirely to another, the expectation is that its Members must re-vote on the exact language of the other body's bill.
As Stanford law professor Michael McConnell pointed out in these pages yesterday, "The Slaughter solution attempts to allow the House to pass the Senate bill, plus a bill amending it, with a single vote. The senators would then vote only on the amendatory bill. But this means that no single bill will have passed both houses in the same form." If Congress can now decide that the House can vote for one bill and the Senate can vote for another, and the final result can be some arbitrary hybrid, then we have abandoned one of Madison's core checks and balances.
This makes reconciliation look like child's play.
Even the Washington Post recognized it for what it is on the front page of their paper yesterday:
Pass the bill without a vote? This is so brazenly beyond the accepted procedures of the legislative branch that it becomes the duty of Ohio's media to ask each and every Representative in Congress whether or not they stand with Speaker Pelosi in endorsing this tactic for passage.
Ohio voters have a right to know where their representative is on this enormously important question. Will the Ohio media step up?
On twitter early yesterday morning, I stated "every GOP candidate in OH should make this a story. Ask their Dem opponent to take a stand...".
And that's still true. No GOP candidate should accept a non-answer from their opponent on this vitally important question...
Do you support deem and pass as a tool to move the Senate Health Care bill to the President's desk for his signature?