We’ve been hearing nearly all week about the odd maneuver the House may try this weekend called ‘deem and pass’ or ‘the no-vote vote’ as some have called it. But the first time I’d heard it put another way was on Friday evening’s Newshour with Jim Lehrer in the Shields and Brooks segment.
First David Brooks said this:
I find the deem and pass, this idea that we’re not going vote on it, we’re just going to deem it passed and then vote on the amendments, I find that so repulsive, I’m — I’m out of my skin with anger about that.
Lehrer asks why.
David Brooks: To me, you take responsibility. You take responsibility. If you support something, you vote for it, and then you vote for the amendment. And then you take responsibility.
The idea that you are dodging responsibility, that Nancy Pelosi — I have a quote here. She said: “I like it,” deem and pass, “because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”
That is a betrayal of everything we teach our children about democracy. And the fact that people are thinking about this means they’re so deep in the weeds about trying to get this passed, they have decided the ends justify any means.
Brooks was unusually animated and making a compelling argument.
But it would — they think it would make it slightly politically easier if the American people are stupid enough to say, oh, I didn’t vote for the bill, I just voted for the amendments, for some members.
I find this a total insult to the democratic process.
Mark Shields doesn’t like it either, and he was the first I heard utter the new name for the maneuver.
I am not recommending deem and pass, which now has become “demon pass.” It sort of sounds diabolical in the public language. I’m not recommending that by any means.
Here’s the rest:
DAVID BROOKS: Vote for the damn bill. If you support it, vote for the bill.
MARK SHIELDS: They are voting for the bill.
DAVID BROOKS: Don’t dodge around it. It is just terrible. It’s just — and, by the way, when they do deem and pass, they have taken the Senate down another degrading road through reconciliation.
We have the Senate as separate from the House because simple majority doesn’t rule in the Senate. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton were all against simple majoritarianism when the Republicans were in control. Now it will be just like the House, where you only need 51 votes. That gives tremendous power to the leaders. It totally undermines any thought that we should ever have cross-party negotiations.