The House Rules Committee continued its session on the third floor of the Capitol, where the panel is tasked with setting the terms of Sunday’s floor debate. House leaders have decided to take a separate vote on the Senate version of the health care bill, rejecting an earlier, much-criticized strategy that would have permitted them to “deem” the measure passed without an explicit vote.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said the House will take three votes on Sunday: First, on a resolution that will set the terms of debate. Second, on a package of amendments to the Senate bill that have been demanded by House members. And third, on the Senate bill itself.
Van Hollen, an assistant to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who has been working on the issue, said House leaders concluded that the reverse order — approving the amendments before approving the Senate bill — makes clear that the House is approving “a modified version of the Senate bill,” and not the Senate bill itself.
I think this means one of two things: (1) Pelosi has the votes to pass the Senate version or (2) she has concluded that there are no extra votes to be gained through “deem and pass.” It also means, of course, that “deem and pass,” having been the object of much ridicule, was inflicting collateral damage on the Dems.
Some ridicule remains fair because the Democrats voted against a Republican attempt to have “deem and pass” renounced.
Earlier today Byron York reported that the Rules Committee meeting had descended into chaos.
Outside, the protestors.