“[House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi reportedly told liberal bloggers Monday that “nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill,” and so she’s strongly considering the non-vote vote.”


A newly emerging Democratic plan to vote on health care reform without really voting on health care reform has critics riled up, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her allies are accused of resorting to legislative trickery to send a bill to President Obama’s desk.

Senate Democratic leaders had already drawn jeers from Republicans for a plan to try to pass a follow-up health bill with only 51 votes, as opposed to 60. Now Pelosi and Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, are cooking up a plan to pass the original health bill from the Senate side without forcing rank-and-file Democrats to technically go on record in support of it.

What they’re brewing is unprecedented to this depth and breadth.

Here’s how the maneuver would work and why Pelosi wants it:

Before Congress can consider the package of changes that many lawmakers want in exchange for their support on the original bill, the House has to first pass the original bill from the Senate side.

Problem is, even with assurances that the package of changes will be considered, many House Democrats don’t want to go on record in support of the Senate bill — what with its sweetheart deals, tax on high-value insurance plans and other controversial provisions.

Enter the Pelosi tactic, known as a “self-executing rule.”

Under this tactic, the House could simultaneously approve the Senate version of the bill while voting on the package of changes. This would “deem” the Senate bill passed, though not directly show members voting in favor of passage.

How convenient. Just say it is so, and…it’s so.

It’s just so wrong.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....